Baby milk had iron above limitFood watchdog says health problems 'unlikely'

03 October 2006

 

A brand of organic baby milk has been found to contain levels of iron above the legal limit.

A  Food Standards Agency (FSA) investigation found that Babynat Organic Infant Formula from Organico Realfoods Ltd contained 1.6mg of iron per 100 calories.

The limit for iron in cows’ milk-based baby formulas is 1.5mg per 100 calories for baby products that contain added iron.

New formula

A risk assessment carried out by the FSA found no safety concern because babies have the ability to regulate iron they've consumed and excrete it. Organico has agreed to develop a new formulation to lower the iron levels.

Iron is added to baby foods which are based on cows’ milk or soya because the amount of iron in such foods is lower than that found in human breast milk.  To make sure baby foods meet nutritional needs, manufacturers have to add iron.

An FSA spokesperson said: ‘It’s very unlikely that infants would experience any problems from the level of iron from this one product. Common problems with high iron intake tend to lead to a mild stomach upset and are not serious.’

FSA survey

The findings come from an FSA survey that measured the levels of 15 metals and other elements in samples of weaning foods and formulas for infants.

A range of 201 products on sale across the UK was sampled and analysed for metals including arsenic, iron, mercury, nickel, selenium, tin and zinc.

The survey showed that the levels of these substances were generally similar to those measured in previous surveys of metals in baby foods and didn't pose a health risk.