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THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2024                                THE QUEENS TIMES                                                            PAGE 9

          Attorney General James Calls on FDA to Protect Children  New York Road Runners Announce
                From Lead And Other Toxic Metals in Baby Food                                            Runners of The Year at

        At Least 49 Recent Lead Poison-  Attorney General James led a co-  not a shadowy system of third-    NYRR Club Night
        ing Cases in New York Connected  alition of 23 attorneys general in  party certifications and the false
        to Recalled Cinnamon Apple-  filing a petition with FDA urging  hope that an FDA inspector might   (Continued from page 6)  teammates in the TCS New York
        sauce Pouches Highlight Urgent  the agency to issue clear industry  someday show up. We’ve gambled                   City Marathon.
        Need for Stronger Protections  guidance on testing for lead and  with our babies’ brains, and our  ticipated in, including the RBC  •    Ted Corbitt Dedicated Athlete
                                     other toxic metals in finished baby  babies are paying the price. We  Brooklyn Half, NYRR Queens  of the Year: Al Shabana
             New York Attorney General  and toddler food products. After  applaud Attorney General James  10K, New Balance Bronx 10 Mile,       Presented to an NYRR member
        Letitia James led a coalition of 20  FDA denied the 2021 petition,  and her coalition for demanding  and NYRR Ted Corbitt 15K. He  who ran the most miles at NYRR
        attorneys general calling on the  Attorney General James and the  that FDA take immediate action  was also 25th at the TCS New  races in 2023.
        U.S. Food and Drug Administra-  coalition sought reconsideration of  to protect our babies.”  York City Marathon.         NYRR works with more than
        tion (FDA) to take urgent action to  the decision in June 2022. The let-       “Exposure to lead, a potent       Brumelot was a top-five  250 local running clubs during the
        protect babies and young children  ter renews the call for FDA to take  neurotoxicant, can impact babies  finisher in eight of the NYRR  year through its quarterly Club
        nationwide from lead and other  urgent action to protect families  and young children throughout  races she completed, including  Council meetings, and encour-
        toxic metals in baby food. In a  from lead and other toxic metals  their lifetime,” said Maria Doa,  a win at the Front Runners New  ages competition among clubs
        letter, Attorney General James and  in baby food products.   Senior  Director  of  Chemicals  York LGBT Pride Run 4M and a  at NYRR races, many of which
        the coalition urged FDA to act on       In the letter, Attorney General  Policy at Environmental Defense  runner-up finish at the NYRR Ted  are scored and designated as club
        the attorneys general’s October  James and the coalition highlight  Fund. “Baby food should not add  Corbitt 15K.    points races.
        2021 petition and subsequent June  recent widespread childhood lead  to the lead burden that many babies       Caswell won seven of their 14       About New York Road Runners
        2022 petition and letter, which  poisonings related to high levels  and young children already bear.  NYRR races in the non-binary di-  (NYRR) - NYRR’s mission is to
        asked FDA to issue specific guid-  of lead detected in WanaBana,  EDF commends Attorney General  vision, and finished second in the  help and inspire people through
        ance to the baby food industry to  Schnucks, and Weis brand cin-  James and the coalition for urging  other seven, including a runner-up  running. Since 1958, New York
        require testing of all finished food  namon applesauce pouches that  FDA to expeditiously reduce the  finish at the TCS New York City  Road Runners has grown from a
        products for lead and other toxic  were not tested for toxic metals  risks to babies and young children  Marathon.   local running club to the world’s
        metals. The coalition emphasizes  and have since been recalled. The  from this toxic metal. It is crucial       The following Special Awards  premier community running or-
        the critical need for FDA to act,  now-recalled WanaBana pouches  that FDA take action now.”  were also presented at NYRR  ganization. NYRR’s commitment
        citing recent findings of hundreds  were sold in Dollar Tree stores       “Parents count on baby food to  Club Night:  to New York City’s five boroughs
        of childhood lead poisoning cases  throughout the country. The Cen-  be safe and healthy for their little  •    Achilles Athlete of the Year:  features races, virtual races, com-
        — including at least 49 confirmed  ters for Disease Control (CDC) has  ones. The FDA has known for  Julian Kane      munity events, free youth running
        or probable cases in New York  identified nearly 400 confirmed or  years that baby foods can contain       Presented to an athlete with  initiatives and school programs,
        — linked to recalled cinnamon  probable childhood lead poisoning  lead,  arsenic,  and  other  heavy  a disability whose dedication,  the NYRR RUNCENTER fea-
        applesauce pouches that were sold  cases in connection to consump-  metals that can harm brain devel-  perseverance, enthusiasm, and  turing the New Balance Run
        in stores throughout the country  tion of these cinnamon applesauce  opment. But their failure to set low  athletic success inspire all Achil-  Hub, and training resources that
        without first being tested for toxic  pouches, including at least 49  limits and to require end-product  les members to pursue their goals.  provide hundreds of thousands of
        metals.                      children in New York.         testing has led to profound, real  •    Joe Kleinerman Award: Will  people each year with the motiva-
             “Parents and guardians should       Consumers who have purchased  world suffering for hundreds of  Sanchez      tion, know-how, and opportunity
        not  have  to  worry  that  food  these recalled products and may  families across the country, includ-       Presented in recognition of  to Run for Life. NYRR’s premier
        products designed to be safe  still  have  them  in their  homes  ing almost 50 in New York State  outstanding and inspiring com-  event is the TCS New York City
        and healthy for children might  should not feed them to children  alone, as cinnamon applesauce  munity service.     Marathon. Held annually on the
        contain harmful levels of lead or  or anyone else. Instead, these  became an unsuspected route for  •    Team Spirit Award: Misty  first Sunday in November, the
        other toxic metals,” said Attor-  products should be safely dis-  high levels of lead last fall,” said  Mountain Runners  race features a wide population of
        ney General James. “Nothing is  carded by carefully opening each  Bobbi Wilding, Executive Director       Presented to the team whose  runners, from the world’s top pro-
        more important than ensuring the  pouch and emptying the contents  at Clean+Healthy. “Thank you to  members show their spirit by  fessional athletes to a vast range
        health and safety of our youngest  into the garbage to prevent others  New York Attorney General James  participating in NYRR weekly  of competitive, recreational, and
        and most vulnerable. I am calling  from possibly salvaging and con-  and all the other Attorneys General  races, volunteering with NYRR  charity runners. To learn more,
        on FDA to immediately take ac-  suming the recalled products. For  across the US for pressing the FDA  during the year, and cheering for  visit
        tion to strengthen protections for  more information on these recalled  to act. We strongly urge the FDA
        children’s food, and I encourage  products, consult FDA.   to live up to its duty of ‘ensuring
        families to check their pantries for       Attorney General James is a  the safety of our nation’s food sup-
        the cinnamon applesauce pouches  national leader on children’s food  ply’ by taking action without delay.
        that were recently recalled.”  safety. In addition to her contin-  The nation’s families are counting
             Despite the agency concluding  ued leadership in advocating for  on you. Don’t let us down again.”
        years ago that babies’ and young  swift federal action, the Office       “Babies are exquisitely sensitive
        children’s smaller bodies and  of the Attorney General (OAG)  to heavy metals,” said Dr. Philip
        metabolisms make them more vul-  has investigated several manu-  J. Landrigan, pediatrician and
        nerable to the harmful effects of  facturers of baby food regarding  Director of Global Public Health at
        toxic metals, FDA has established  levels of inorganic arsenic found  Boston College. “No level of metal
        only one action level, or amount of  in infant rice cereal products, and  exposure is safe for a young child,
        toxic metal in a product at or above  the advertising of these products.  and early-life exposures to even
        which FDA will remove the prod-  In February 2022, Attorney Gen-  very low levels of lead, arsenic,
        uct from the market, for one type  eral James demanded that baby  cadmium, and mercury increase
        of toxic metal (inorganic arsenic)  food brand HolleUSA stop false  risks of brain damage, cancer,
        in one type of baby food product  or misleading advertising of its  anemia, and kidney damage. As
        (infant rice cereal) to date. Under  products as “lead free” after labo-  a pediatrician who has worked
        current FDA policy, baby food  ratory testing revealed that several  for decades to protect children
        manufacturers are left to decide  of its baby foods available in New  against toxic chemicals in the
        whether or not to even test their  York contained detectable levels  environment, I strongly endorse
        products for toxic metals and other  of lead, cadmium, and arsenic.  AG James and the coalition of
        contaminants.                In response, HolleUSA promptly  attorneys general in urging the
             This delay in FDA action is  removed the misleading logos and  FDA to rapidly reduce toxic metal
        both a public health concern and  statements from their websites and  levels in baby foods and to avoid
        a matter of environmental justice,  virtual storefronts.   any further delay in safeguarding
        as children from low-income com-       Joining Attorney General  babies’ health.”
        munities and communities of color  James in sending this letter to           “There is  no  safe level of
        are disproportionately impacted  FDA are the Attorneys General of  lead in children, so more harm
        by lead through exposure to lead-  Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware,  is caused when FDA action con-
        based paint, lead in drinking water  Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland,  tinues to be delayed,” said Brian
        pipes, and other sources. Lead in  Massachusetts, Michigan, Min-  Ronholm, Director of Food Policy
        their food only exacerbates the  nesota, New Jersey, New Mexico,  at Consumer Reports. “The recent
        existing inordinate and inequitable  Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon,  recall involving lead poisoning in
        hazards these children face.    Pennsylvania, Vermont, Washing-  cinnamon  applesauce  products
             In April 2021, FDA announced  ton, and Wisconsin.     set off an alarm, and Consumer
        the “Closer to Zero” plan, under       “Our babies deserve better,” said  Reports commends Attorney Gen-
        which the agency committed to  Scott Faber, Senior Vice President  eral James for leading the fight on
        proposing action levels for lead in  for Government Affairs at the  behalf of parents and caregivers
        various baby foods by April 2022,  Environmental Working Group.  to push FDA to act immediately.”
        inorganic arsenic in various baby  “What’s clear now is that the honor       This matter is being handled
        foods by April 2024, and cadmium  system that trusts food compa-  by Assistant Attorney General
        and mercury sometime after April  nies to verify the safety of our  Max Shterngel, Chief Environ-
        2024.  FDA  has  since  removed  baby food is not working. What’s  mental Scientist Jodi Feld, and
        those deadlines from its Closer  needed is mandatory testing and
        to Zero website. In October 2021,  sampling and electronic reporting,   (Continued on page 10)
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