Parents now have one new food item they may want to take off from their grocery lists. "You hear a lot of these days about arsenic being in this and that," said Porsche Espindola of Fresno.
Researchers at Dartmouth have found high levels of potentially toxic arsenic in organic baby formula containing brown rice syrup. "A study or findings like that just kind of confirm it for me. It's not as good to put into their bodies is what we as moms can do," said Cassi Maxey of Fresno.
"If you're on this type of formula that's been implicated here, I would stop using that formula until we know it truly is safe," said ABC News Chief Medical Editor, Dr. Richard Besser. Besser said parents should take the new study seriously. "It raises concerns. It seems almost every month we're hearing about another food product that has arsenic in it and we need to get some guidance. How do you put a diet together that's safe, that's healthy, that doesn't have levels of contaminate," said Besser.
Organic cereal and energy bars containing brown rice syrup were also found to have high levels of the cancer-causing poison. "That's used in some products as a sweetener in place of high-fructose corn syrup. The concern is that that product may have higher than acceptable levels of arsenic," said Besser.
Experts say consumers should be cautious and reduce their exposure to these items as much as they can while more studies are done. "If you're having an energy bar every day or once a week, that's not going to be a problem. If you're having a dozen of them a day, then you might want to pay attention because it's a significant part of your diet," said Besser.
In the meantime, parents we spoke with say they will take the warning seriously. "As a parent you're always hoping you're providing the best nutrition for your kids and so if that's something that's going to be dangerous, you want to make sure that you're aware," said Espindola.
The Dartmouth study did not list the specific brands researchers tested but Dr. Besser said one formula parents should look out for is 'Baby's Only Organic Formula for Toddlers.'