Arsenic Found in Infant Formula

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Many nutritionists say organic means healthy but not in some cases.

A new study shows high levels of arsenic in certain brands of organic infant formula.

Several kinds of infant formula and energy bars list organic brown rice syrup as the main ingredient.  Researchers at Dartmouth College say organic brown rice syrup has what they call "worrisome" levels of arsenic, which has been known to cause cancer, but dietitians say not to worry just yet.

Fawn Landis has a six-month-old son.  She was surprised to hear certain kinds of infant formula contain arsenic.

"I just didn't think that kind of thing was in baby formula and it was hard to tell by reading labels since it doesn't actually say that on the label," said Landis.

According to the study done at Dartmouth, "worrisome" levels of arsenic were found in certain kinds of infant formula and energy bars.  Arsenic has been found in some foods that list organic brown rice syrup as the main ingredient.  Researchers tested 17 types of infant formula. Two of the formulas, which were not named, had organic brown rice syrup in them.

The federal limit for safe levels of arsenic in drinking water is 10 parts per billion.  The arsenic levels in energy bars is 23 to 128 parts per billion, but the FDA has not taken them off store shelves.

"As the FDA does more research, if it were to be recalled, absolutely take it back to the store, get rid of it," said Geisinger Medical Center registered dietitian Sarah Dayton. She added there is no need to be concerned unless the FDA takes action.  Dayton encourages parents to look at what they're buying at the grocery store.

"You want to be looking at the nutrition and facts label that is approved by the FDA and also the ingredients," said Dayton.

That's something many parents said they will do now, especially when it comes to their children.

"I'm definitely going to look at the labels closer and make sure what we're putting in her isn't bad for her," said concerned parent Melissa Stutzman.

Dayton added if you are concerned about levels of arsenic in your child's diet, do not feed them formula or foods  in which organic brown rice syrup is the main ingredient.