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Arsenic and lead found in Swedish baby food

Published lördag 12 januari 2013 kl 11.07
Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/Scanpix.

Despite an outcry two years ago several cereal products for babies and toddlers still contain high levels of arsenic and lead.

Independent laboratory tests by the company Testfakta found the poisonous chemicals in Swedish välling (gruel fed to most Swedish infants) manufactured by Semper and EnaGo.

“I don’t think these substances should be in baby food,” Emma Halldin Ankarberg, a poison expert at the National Food Administration, told Swedish Radio.

The levels found were below the legal limit but Halldin recommends that parents limit their children’s consumption of gruel and porridge.

If an eight kilo baby was fed three portions of EnaGo per days they could potentially consume unsafe amounts of lead, according to the laboratory tests.

“You should try to vary it – don’t stick with a particular brand,” she said.

“Even if your child really wants to eat välling you should try to introduce other food.”

Kristina Kallur, CEO of ENaGo, expressed shock at the tests results, and told Swedish Radio that they were higher than the company's measurements, However she said they were still within safe limits.

“I understand as a mother that this makes people really worried. All the products are under the safe level. If you’re under that then it’s not dangerous to eat them.”

The company has stopped manufacturing the products tested and plans to review the recipe.

Two years ago researchers also raised the alarm that levels of heavy metals were high in baby food. Testfakta, an independent laboratory tested 14 different cereal products from Nestlé, Semper, Hipp and EnaGo.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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