FDA: Protect Americans from heavy metal exposure

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I am writing to urge you to set stricter limits on heavy metals in our foods. Right now, there are only limits on certain foods, such as arsenic in infant rice cereal and lead in candy, but there are many other potential sources of food exposure. Heavy metals, including arsenic, lead, and cadmium found in many common herbs and spices can have damaging effects on the central nervous system and cognitive development in children, and adverse health effects in adults as well. Please do your part to ensure consumers don’t have to fear unsafe levels of heavy metals when cooking for their families or loved ones.

A new Consumer Reports investigation revealed that almost 1-in-3 popular spices and herbs in our tests contained concerning levels of heavy metals. Out of 126 products tested, 40 contained high enough levels of arsenic, lead, and cadmium combined to pose a concern for children who regularly consume them. Most contained concerning levels for adults, too.

Frequent exposure to even small amounts of heavy metals is dangerous, because our bodies can’t easily break them down. And while a single serving might not cause harm, the health risks associated with exposure increase over time.

We’re calling on the Food and Drug Administration to take action, but we need lots of people speaking out to make it happen. Sign our petition now to call on the FDA to limit heavy metals in our food products.