On Tuesday, Beech-Nut Nutrition voluntarily recalled its single grain rice cereal and announced that it is discontinuing sales of rice cereal after finding that the product tested with higher levels of arsenic than the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidance levels.
“The safety of infants and children is Beech-Nut’s top priority. We are issuing this voluntary recall, because we learned through routine sampling by the State of Alaska that a limited quantity of Beech-Nut Single Grain Rice Cereal products had levels of naturally-occurring inorganic arsenic above the FDA guidance level, even though the rice flour used to produce these products tested below the FDA guidance level for inorganic arsenic,” said Beech-Nut Vice President of Food Safety and Quality, Jason Jacobs.
According to the Beech-Nut press release, there have been no reported illnesses from the recalled item, which includes items expiring on May 1, 2022 with specific product codes. The company noted that the FDA recognized, following a House Subcommittee report alleging the levels of heavy metals in baby foods are too high and multiple lawsuits, ADD LINKS, that elements like inorganic arsenic are found in foods because they are present in the environment. Despite their common presence in foods, the FDA said the heavy metals, like arsenic, can be harmful to development in children.
The company announcement published by the FDA explained that Beech-Nut is stopping production of its Single Grain Rice Cereal because the company has concerns about the ability to acquire rice flour which would allow them to meet the FDA guidance level and its own requirements for inorganic arsenic.
Consumers who purchased the product are encouraged to discard it, and Beech-Nut asked them to call or fill out a form on its website to get information about receiving a refund.
Beech-Nut, along with other companies who produce baby foods, has received many lawsuits since the beginning of this year alleging that it fraudulently advertised products by not alerting consumers to the heavy metals. Earlier this week, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ruled against consolidating the lawsuits.