HBBF Leaves Baby Food Council After Baby Food Companies Backpedal on Commitments

November 5, 2021
baby eating

Healthy Babies Bright Futures (HBBF) has been proud to work with top baby food brands in the Baby Food Council toward a shared mission to reduce heavy metals in the companies’ products to as low as reasonably achievable using best-in-class management practices. But today, Healthy Babies Bright Futures, along with the Environmental Defense Fund, is withdrawing from the Baby Food Council. 

Over the last year, the Council — made up of representatives from leading baby food companies as well as HBBF, EDF, and Cornell University — has been working toward a voluntary Baby Food Standard to limit the amounts of heavy metals in baby food. However, after collaboratively creating a work plan to enact this standard based on shared best practices, the baby food companies have all decided to backpedal on this project — even though the standard was designed to protect babies’ brain development. 

That's why HBBF has decided to withdraw from the Baby Food Council.

Healthy Babies Bright Futures is focused on making a tangible impact on reducing neurotoxic exposures to babies, and the baby food companies' refusal to jointly set limits for heavy metals in baby food has shown that the Baby Food Council will no longer be a useful lever in this important work.   

“The baby food companies’ decision to stop progress on a voluntary standard for heavy metals in baby food is a disappointment,” said Charlotte Brody, RN, HBBF’s National Director. “What started as dedication has turned into delay and intention has become inaction. So HBBF has decided to put our effort into other initiatives that will move the needle on this important issue.”

Healthy Babies Bright Futures maintains our commitment to do whatever we can to move baby food manufacturers and retailers to continuously lower the levels of toxic contaminants in baby food. 

Now that our studies — along with studies by Consumer Reports and a Congressional Subcommittee — have shone a bright light on the problem, the baby food companies have a responsibility to implement solutions that will give parents one less thing to worry about.