Contains Lead originally uploaded by Taber Andrew Bain
According to this article via ABC News, high lead levels were detected in four Mexican hot sauce brands which are available in the United States. While there is currently no safety standards assigned by the FDA for hot sauces, comparing the levels to what is allowed for other types of food, candy in particular, these are well above what is considered safe.
From the article:
Researchers at the Universtiy of Nevada Las Vegas recently found worryingly high levels of lead in four Mexican salsa brands that are available in some parts of the U.S.
The brands include El Pato Salsa Picante, Salsa Habanera, Salsa Picante de Chile Habanero and Bufalo Salsa Clasica.
Researchers at UNLV said that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration currently has no benchmark that determines which levels of lead are “unsafe” in hot sauces. But they said that these four brands had lead levels which exceeded 0.1 parts per million, which is the current FDA standard for “safe” lead levels in candy.
Fortunately, hot sauces are not usually a big part of a child´s diet. But researchers said that children from certain cultural backgrounds are accustomed to consuming them.
“Although hot sauce would not intuitively be counted amongst food products highly consumed by children, the study suggests that ethnic and cultural practices must be considered,” the researchers conclude.
What is most surprising here is not that there are contaminants coming in food items in this country but that the FDA does not test for lead nor does it have any specific constraints on the levels that should appear in all types of food allowing for these contaminants to enter our country’s food sources. Yes, there are plenty of horrendous things the FDA allows into our food through additives (coloring especially) which are banned in other countries but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t stop.
Have you ever tried any of the hot sauces found to contain lead in this study? Do you assume food does not contain lead when you purchase it in a US store? Considering the low levels of hot sauces usually consumed by the average American, should this continue to be allowed or should the FDA do something to stop it? Whatever you have to say about this one go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear what you have to say.