The Congress dads are looking for answers.

Plus: Is keto a good idea?

Thursday.  The early bird gets the worm. New research shows that morning exercise may be more effective at reversing the effects of metabolic syndrome than fitness later in the day (FIND THE STUDY HERE). Granted, most Americans just need to move more. Morning, noon, or evening—just find some time to move your body, lift some weights, or even start with a walk. But if you want to be an overachiever, do it in the morning. 

Speaking of overachievers, we have some dads in Congress with high expectations for the FDA, and they are making a fuss about it. What are we talking about? Let’s dive in.

Today’s Menu 🌿

  • The Congress Dads 🇺🇸 get serious about lead.

  • Is keto 🧈 a good idea?

  • 🌱The vegan myth debunked.

  • Believe it or not, 🕰️ age is just a number.

  • The Daily Recipe is a decadent breakfast treat!

  • ☀️ FIVE sunrise alarms we love.

Read Time: 4 minutes

Dads Caucus Goes After FDA

The recent crisis involving lead-tainted cinnamon applesauce pouches that affected hundreds of American children has brought food safety sharply into focus (REMEMBER THAT? CATCH UP HERE.

The Congressional Dads Caucus, a group mainly composed of fathers in Congress (yes—that is a real thing), has demanded answers from the FDA following a pretty serious oversight that led to over 500 children across various states exhibiting symptoms of lead poisoning. The shocking event was traced back to WanaBana, a company based in Ecuador, which is the source of the contaminated fruit pouches sold in the U.S. 

This group of concerned lawmakers has underscored that the contamination was not detected by the FDA or any other federal body but was instead discovered after symptoms of lead poisoning appeared in children. The lapse in safety was highlighted by local health officials and alarmed parents, who eventually identified the applesauce pouches as the culprit. 

In response to this alarming discovery, the FDA issued a recall, but for many children and their families, the action was too little, too late. 

The Congressional Dads Caucus has posed serious questions to the FDA, wanting to know what steps are being taken to address food contamination by heavy metals and how the agency plans to prevent such incidents in the future. They also suggested additional funding might be necessary for the FDA to effectively meet its food safety mandates. (Ugh—does additional funding ever really solve the problem?)

This situation underscores a broader systemic issue within our food safety protocols, as indicated by a New York Times investigation revealing significant gaps in how the FDA inspects foreign food facilities (READ THE INVESTIGATION REPORT HERE). Shockingly, the FDA inspected less than 1% of food facilities abroad exporting to the U.S. in 2022. That’s no bueno. 

The incident has also highlighted the absence of federal requirements for testing foods for heavy metals. This regulatory gap has become increasingly concerning as awareness about the dangers of heavy metals in foods, especially those marketed to children, grows. 

In response to intense public backlash and a revealing congressional report in 2021, the FDA launched the "Closer to Zero" initiative to reduce contaminants like lead in baby and toddler foods. However, progress has been slow, and the FDA’s requests for authority to mandate finished product testing have so far not gained traction in Congress. Does anything ever gain traction in Congress? 

Meanwhile, states like California have taken matters into their own hands. Starting this year, baby food companies in California must test finished products for heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, arsenic, and mercury. By 2025, these companies will also need to make their test results publicly available online, which could drive significant changes industry-wide.

The key takeaway? This applesauce debacle not only highlights the vulnerabilities in our food safety system but also the critical need for robust testing and regulatory measures to prevent such avoidable crises. 

As the FDA continues to seek the necessary authority to enforce stricter safety standards, how Congress will respond to these urgent calls for action remains to be seen. The hope is that through increased awareness and regulatory adjustments, tragedies like this can be prevented in the future, safeguarding the health of the most vulnerable consumers—our children. 

Maybe the Dads Caucus in Congress can get the job done. Dads can never find their keys, but maybe they can do this! 

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