A California judge has provisionally ruled that baby foods carry low levels of lead do not require a warning label.
While all parties involved in the dispute acknowledge the baby foods in question contains lead, the issue is whether the levels are high enough to warrant labeling the food with warning labels.
Judge Steven Brick in a provisional ruling this week, stated manufacturers: Gerber, Smucker’s, Dole, and other manufacturers are not required to place the warnings under California law, according to The San Francisco Chronicle.
Brick further wrote that manufacturers have demonstrated that each of their products are below the regulatory `safe harbor’ exposure level, and for that reason, no warnings are required.
The Environmental Law Foundation filed a complaint in accordance to California Proposition 65, arguing that the lead levels were high and needed warning labels. The Foundation stated that the makers of the baby foods which includes carrots, peaches, pears, sweet potatoes, and packaged fruit and fruit juice are selling products containing lead at levels that require the labels.
Lawyers for the food manufacturers revealed that the Food and Drug Administration have tested the products in question and determined that the levels were below the federal standard that requires a warning label.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, at least 4 million households have children living in them who are exposed to lead, about half a million have levels higher than 5 micrograms which is the amount at which CDC recommends intervention. Lead exposure can affect nearly every system in the body.
The Chronicle further reported California state law says a person can be exposed to up to 15 micrograms of lead daily without being at risk for cancer and up to 0.5 micrograms daily without risk of reproductive harm.
Lead-based paint and lead contaminated dust are the main sources of exposure for children in the U.S., according to the CDC.
The judge is expected to make a final ruling on the issue of labeling these products in the weeks ahead.
By: Veverly Edwards