FDA’s “Closer to Zero” Plan Aimed at Reducing Heavy Metals in Baby Food
FDA – A news report posted on jdsupra.com reports that the U.S. food and drug administration has recently announced the release of the new action plan that is dedicated to reducing toxic elements and heavy metals from baby food products. According to the FDA’s action plan, called “Closer to Zero,” the FDA will implement four measures for the next three years to decrease the quantity of toxic elements and metals “to as low as possible.”
The plan begins with the FDA conducting a full evaluation of all existing data, including routine testing of the countries food supply to determine the interim reference levels or (IRLs) for specific toxic elements. The FDA will then use the IRL’s to design action levels for toxic elements in each food category that babies commonly consume in young children. This action would help the FDA to develop new rules and guidelines.
According to the news report, action levels are important as they represent the amount of contamination of a particular food item considered as “adulterated under section 402 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.” Under old regulations, when a food item is deemed adulterated, a separate determination about whether or not the food issue would cause severe adverse health conditions would be decided before initiating a recall. At this moment, the FDA Only uses one action level for baby foods containing heavy metals. That standard is 100 ppb in the organic arsenic for infant rice cereal.
Do you FDA is currently developing several proposed action plans to later review with stakeholders. The FDA is also seeking input regarding the achievability and feasibility of implementing action levels. Heavy metals are naturally current substances that typically enter into the food supply due to plants or trees absorbing the heavy metals through the soil, water, or air. After the action plans have been finalized, the FDA will create a time frame in which food manufacturers must follow in order to meet the action levels.
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