By Josh Beckerman

 

Beech-Nut Nutrition plans to exit the market for Beech-Nut branded Single Grain Rice Cereal, citing concern about consistently obtaining rice flour well below "the FDA guidance level and Beech-Nut specifications for naturally occurring inorganic arsenic."

Beech-Nut said it voluntarily recalled one lot of Beech-Nut Stage 1, Single Grain Rice Cereal after routine sampling in Alaska found that samples from the lot "tested above the guidance level for naturally occurring inorganic arsenic set by the FDA in August 2020." The rice flour used had been tested and confirmed as being below the FDA guidance level, the company said. No illnesses have been reported.

Switzerland-based Hero Group owns Beech-Nut.

A February report by the House Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy said baby food brands including Nestle SA-owned Gerber, Beech-Nut , Walmart Inc.'s store brand and several organic brands had "dangerously high levels" of arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury. These heavy metals naturally occur in soil and water.

In response, Beech-Nut said "we understand the recent Congressional Report and news stories have been unsettling to parents," and emphasized its strict quality and safety standards and testing. Gerber said it takes many steps to reduce heavy metals, including "selecting growing locations based on soil composition, testing soil and water before growing, planting and harvesting at the right times of the year."

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Closer to Zero plan seeks to reduce exposure to toxic elements, and has said that "our work, combined with that of our stakeholders, has led to meaningful reductions."

 

Write to Josh Beckerman at josh.beckerman@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 09, 2021 15:15 ET (19:15 GMT)

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