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检测机构:这些婴儿食品含重金属过多

Lucas Laursen 2018年08月27日

最新检测结果表明,大米制成的食品更有可能含有较多的砷,而且其中一些产品的铅、镉含量也很高。

产品检测机构消费者报告(Consumer Reports)警告称,在它检验的婴儿食品中,三分之二的产品含有数量“令人不安”的铅、水银等重金属。

该机构对美国50款婴幼儿包装食品的镉、铅、水银以及无机砷含量进行了检测。重金属对人体有害,吃含有重金属的食品或暴露在相关环境中会造成重金属逐渐在人体内积累。这些物质可导致癌症、神经疾病、糖尿病、生殖以及心血管疾病。

婴儿食品是一桩大生意——2015年的价值约为530亿美元,有人预计到2021年这个数字将达到760亿美元。

对婴儿食品的监督也越发严格。去年,另一家独立私营食品认证机构称其检验的530款婴儿配方奶粉中,80%的产品含有污染物。

该认证机构的研究以及消费者报告的最新检测结果均表明,大米制成的食品更有可能含有较多的砷,而且其中一些产品的铅、镉含量也很高。这三种物质以及检验针对的其他金属在自然界中形成,可在植物生长过程中被植物吸收。但人类活动,包括喷洒杀虫剂、采矿和使用含铅汽油会使环境受到更严重的污染,从而让我们的食品变得更“毒”。

消费者报告称,它发现比纳(Beech-Nut)经典红薯泥、爱思贝(Earth’s Best Organic)红薯泥以及嘉宝(Gerber)火鸡肉泥的含铅量“让人担心”。该机构在加州购买了这些产品,数量均为一份。加州对食品含铅量有自己的标准,而消费者报告表示它相信其检测结果已经超标。美国联邦政府没有对婴儿食品中的重金属含量做出过规定。

好消息是,消费者报告发现在其检测的50款食品中,16款产品的重金属含量勉强能令人接受。该机构食品安全研究及检测部门负责人詹姆斯·罗杰斯说:“我们检测的每一类食品都属于风险较低的组别。这说明制造商有办法显著降低这些金属在其产品中的含量,或者予以清除。”

对此,美国食品与药品管理局(FDA)告诉消费者报告,该局将确立苹果汁和婴儿米粉中无机砷含量的指导性标准,同时将发起消费者教育活动并考虑对制造商施压,以促使后者降低食品中的重金属含量。

《消费者报告》的检测还发现,有机食品和非有机食品并无不同。

比纳在一份声明中表示:“特别要指出的是,铅的困难之处在于它自然形成而且在土壤中分布广泛。”

该公司还称:“我们期待有机会跟FDA合作,进而在科学基础上为食品行业中的企业制定可执行的标准。”

对《财富》杂志提出的问题,爱思贝母公司海恩时富(Hain Celestial)以及嘉宝尚未做出回应。(财富中文网)

译者:Charlie

审校:夏林

Two-thirds of baby foods tested by Consumer Reports (CR) had “worrisome” levels of a heavy metal such as lead or mercury, the product-testing organization has warned.

CR tested for cadmium, lead, mercury, and inorganic arsenic in 50 packaged foods for babies and toddlers in the U.S. Heavy metals are toxic to the human body and accumulate over time when people eat food containing them, and through environmental exposure. The substances can contribute to cancers, neurological diseases, diabetes, reproductive issues, and cardiovascular disease.

Baby food is big business: it was worth around $53 billion in 2015 and one projection puts it at $76 billion by 2021.

It is also the subject of increasing scrutiny. A separate private food certification organization reported last year that 80% of the 530 infant formulas it tested contained contaminants.

Both that study and the new CR report found that foods containing rice were likelier to contain high levels of arsenic, and some also had elevated lead and cadmium levels. These and the other tested-for metals occur naturally in the environment and can be absorbed by plants as they grow. But human activities, including pesticide application, mining and the use of leaded gasoline, can pollute the environment with higher levels, making our food more poisonous.

The CR report found what it called “concerning” levels of lead in Beech-Nut Classics Sweet Potatoes, Earth’s Best Organic Sweet Potatoes, and Gerber Turkey & Rice. CR purchased one sample of each of those products in California, which has its own limit on lead levels, and it said it believed the levels it found violated those limits. There are currently no federally mandated limits for heavy metals in baby food.

On a positive note, the CR report found 16 of the 50 foods it tested had “less concerning” levels of heavy metals. James Rogers, director of food safety research and testing at CR, said: “Every category of food we tested was represented in that lower-risk group. That indicates that there are ways for manufacturers to significantly reduce or eliminate these metals from their products.”

In response, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) told CR it would finalize guidelines limiting inorganic arsenic in apple juice and infant rice cereal, and that it would conduct a consumer education campaign and consider pressuring manufacturers to reduce heavy metal levels.

The study also found that organic foods did not differ from non-organic ones.

Beech-Nut issued a statement noting that “the difficulty with lead, in particular, is that it is naturally occurring and widely present in soil,.”

“We would welcome the opportunity to work with the FDA on science-based standards that food suppliers can implement across our industry,” the company added.

Hain Celestial (which owns Earth’s Best Organic) and Gerber have not yet replied to questions from Fortune.

 

 

 

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