Tag Archives: Child Innocence

Alarming Study Of Baby Foods And Formulas

.jpg photo of Baby in high chair
A new study by the Clean Label Project suggests most baby food contains dangerous contaminates.

These baby foods and formulas tested
positive for Arsenic, Lead and BPA
in new study

An alarming study released Wednesday found many baby food products test positive for arsenic, including 80% of infant formulas. And, that’s not the only dangerous contaminate found.

Best five products compared to the worst five tested:

  • 170% more ARSENIC than the best.
  • 35% more CADMIUM than the best.
  • 30% more LEAD than the best.
  • 20% more ACRYLAMIDE than the best.

The Clean Label Project, a nonprofit advocating for transparent labeling, tested baby food, infant formulas, toddler drinks and snacks purchased within the past 5 months.  The group, which did not publish findings in a peer-reviewed journal, looked at top-selling formulas and baby food using Nielsen data, and also included emerging national brands.  After about 530 baby food products were tested, researchers found 65% of products tested positive for arsenic, 36% for lead, 58% for cadmium and 10% for acrylamide.  All of these chemicals pose potential dangers to developing infants.

  • Certified “ORGANIC” baby food products Tested have OVER 2X the ARSENIC compared to conventional baby foods Tested.
  • Nearly 80% of infant formula samples Tested POSITIVE for ARSENIC.
  • 60% of products claiming to be “BPA FREE” Tested POSITIVE for BPA.

Jennifer Lowry, pediatrician and toxicologist at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., who is not affiliated with the research, said these chemicals can affect fine motor skills and cognition.

Mainstream brands including Gerber, Enfamil, Plum Organics and Sprout were among the worst offenders — scoring two out of five in the Clean Label Project’s report card for toxic metals.  Plus, 60% of products claiming to be “BPA free” tested positive for the industrial chemical bisphenol A.  The quantities of contaminates range, but some products tested positive for up to 600 parts of arsenic per billion.  That’s far more than just trace amounts.

Environmental group warns of lead in baby food

Arsenic was the most common contaminate spotted in the Clean Label Project study.  Nearly 80% of infant formula samples tested positive for arsenic.  The toxin is associated with developmental defects, cardiovascular disease, neurotoxicity, diabetes and even cancer, according to the World Health Organization.

Jaclyn Bowen, executive director of Clean Label Project and a food safety scientist, said rice-based baby food such as snack puffs had some of the highest levels of arsenic.

In 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration proposed a limit of 100 parts per billion of arsenic in infant rice cereal, but isn’t enforcing that limit.  Rice often absorbs arsenic from contaminated soil as it grows in the environment.

“It is important for consumers to understand that some contaminants, such as heavy metals like lead or arsenic, are in the environment and cannot simply be removed from food,” Peter Cassell, a FDA spokesperson.

Lead, also found in food tested by the Clean Label Project, has been found in baby food before.  Just a few months ago, the Environmental Defense Fund found 20% of 2,164 baby food samples tested contained lead.  No amount of lead is safe, but it’s not regulated.

Low levels of lead in children’s blood have been connected to lower IQs, slowed growth, behavioral problems, hearing issues and anemia, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Clean Label Project posted a list of products it tested, along with a star-rating grade informed by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, on its website.  Bowen said she hopes the data helps parents become better advocates for their children’s health, and creates change in the baby food business.

“The baby industry needs to do a better job in protecting America’s most vulnerable population,” Bowen said.

Twin PA 5 Week Olds Have Broken Bones

.jpg photo of woman accused of breaking Babies bones
Chelsey Stallard admitted handling the babies roughly.

Mother charged with Child Abuse of twin
infants in Imperial

IMPERIAL, PA  –  An Imperial mother is facing felony child abuse charges after doctors found broken bones in one of her 5-week-old twin boys — then asked to see his brother and found more, according to Tribune-Review news partner WPXI-TV.

Chelsey Stallard’s preliminary hearing was held Wednesday, and a judge held the charges for court.

North Fayette police were called to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh in June for a report of twin 5-week-old boys with signs of child abuse, the news station reported.

According to the criminal complaint, a doctor said each infant had “significant trauma to the lower extremities,” broken bones in their legs in different stages of healing, and one of the boys had a displaced, broken elbow.

Stallard admitted to handling the babies roughly from time to time such as when they cried and during diaper changes, police said.

Stallard admitted to forcefully pulling one infant’s arm while he was still strapped in his car seat and acknowledged that both infants’ injuries were a result of her actions, WPXI reported.

But Stallard’s attorney claims his client is innocent, saying an underlying medical condition may be to blame.

“These charges were filed without a complete medical investigation being conducted into the origin of these injuries,” Chris Eyster told WPXI.  “A group of doctors at the request of the family is now trying to conduct that medical investigation.” 

Mother Now Charged With Abuse Of Child

.jpg photo of mother charged with abuse
Valerie Pastran, 21

Tucson woman arrested week after
boyfriend in Child Abuse case

TUCSON, AZ  –  Police said on Friday, May 5, that they have arrested a Tucson woman in connection with a child abuse case for which her boyfriend was arrested last month.

According to Tucson Police Department Sgt. Pete Dugan, 21-year-old Valerie Pastran was arrested on Thursday, May 4.  She was booked on one count of child abuse, Dugan said.  She was released later that night.

NM Fighter Accused Of Child Abuse

Gilbert Cuhen, an MMA fighter from New Mexico, was arrested on abuse charges on April 27 after Pastran’s 3-year-old girl was found unresponsive in a home on Tucson’s south side.  Cuhen was also charged with child abuse.

Dugan said on April 27 that the child was in critical condition.  The child’s family said she was on life support.

Tucson News Now will update this late breaking story as details become available.

Michigan Couple Charged With Neglect

.jpg photo of woman accused of neglect
Megan Schug, 23

Mom charged with Child Abuse as son, 4,
in critical condition

Detroit, MI  –  A 23-year-old mother was arrested and a warrant was being sought for her 34-year-old boyfriend after Battle Creek police alleged the woman’s son suffered neglect.

The 4-year-old boy, Maloyd Gaines, was reported in critical condition Thursday afternoon at Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo, according to Battle Creek police. The hospital said his condition was not available.

Detective Sgt. Troy Gilleylen said the boy was malnourished and kept locked in a room and had injuries over several parts of his body.

Calhoun County Prosecutor David Gilbert issued a charge of second-degree child abuse against Megan Schug of Battle Creek Thursday morning and she was arraigned in the afternoon in Calhoun County District Court.  Gilbert also issued a similar warrant for Isaac Miller, known as Mike, Schug’s boyfriend and father of one of her children.  Battle Creek police were looking for him Thursday afternoon.

At the arraignment, Magistrate David Heiss said Schug faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of the charge.  He set bond at $20,000 cash and scheduled a preliminary examination for April 6.

Watching from the audience were Schug’s mother, Melissa Schug, and her sister, Morgan Schug.

Outside the courtroom both said they had no idea about the charges until they attended the arraignment.

“Nobody told me anything before I came to court,” Melissa Schug said.  “Just that he was in serious condition.  I don’t know what is going on.”

She often visits her daughter and takes her to buy food.  She said her grandson is always happy when she sees him and she calls him “my little Sumo” because he was chunky as a baby.

“He is such a sweetie.  He is a sweetie.  He loves his Nanna and he loves his aunties.  He is a good kid.”

Police said they believe the boy has a mental disability and said he doesn’t speak.  Melissa Schug said her grandson doesn’t talk much around strangers “but my baby talks; he talks to me and he is happy.”
And he eats, she said.

“He loves vegetables.  He is not good on peas but me and him would eat the heck out of spinach.  We would mix it with eggs and eat the heck out of it.”

She last saw her grandson about two weeks ago and didn’t detect any problems.  However, she admits she doesn’t like Miller.

“I just didn’t like him,” Schug said, “just the way he was.  She said he was not abusive but I know he drank and I don’t like people who drink.”

She said Miller once said he had to be stern with the boy.

“He said he had to be strict because he is a boy and I said he is not putting his hands on my grandson and she promised me.”

Police said they believe that the child was sometimes locked in a closet but Melissa Schug said she never saw that happen.

Officers were called to Bronson Battle Creek at 6:18 p.m. Wednesday after the child was taken to the emergency room by LifeCare Ambulance.

Schug told officers her son had not been feeling well for a few days and she was unable to feed him cereal about 8 a.m. Wednesday.

Police described the child’s condition as “severely dilapidated state of health” and Gilleylen said he had a low body temperature.  The boy was transferred to Kalamazoo for treatment.

The boy had a round cut on his nose, large sores on his right side of his thigh and leg and substantial bruising to his toes on his left foot. Gilbert said he had injuries on his buttocks, back, feet, and head.

Police later went to the home in the 200 block of East Emmett Street and said they found questionable living conditions.  Shug’s three daughters were taken to foster care homes by Child Protective Services, but Gilleylen said they appear to be in good health.  Melissa Schug said Thursday afternoon she still is trying to find her granddaughters.

The case remains under investigation by the detective bureau.

Worst Case Of Child Abuse PA Doctor Says

.jpg photo of Geisinger Medical Hospital
Geisinger Medical Center’s Children’s Hospital in Danville, PA

Osceola Mills Child Abuse Case Called “Worst” Doctor Has Ever Seen in
Three-Week-Old Infant

OSCEOLA MILLS, PA  –  An Osceola Mills couple has been accused in what a Geisinger Medical Center doctor has called the “worst case” of child abuse he’s ever seen in a three-week-old infant.

Aaron John Mills, 32, of Osceola Mills has been charged by state police at Clearfield with aggravated assault, F1; aggravated assault, F2; conspiracy/endangering the welfare of children, M1; endangering the welfare of children, M1; simple assault, M1; recklessly endangering another person, two counts, M2; and use/possession of drug paraphernalia, M.

Stephanie Diane McGuire, 22, also of Osceola Mills, has been charged with conspiracy/endangering the welfare of children, M1; parent/guardian/other commits offense, M1; recklessly endangering another person, M2; and use/possession of drug paraphernalia, M, two counts.

According to the affidavits of probable cause, on March 1 McGuire took her infant daughter to a doctor’s appointment to be examined for a diaper rash at Geisinger Medical Center, Philipsburg.

She was examined and diagnosed with bruising to her forehead, the tip of her nose and the left side of her abdomen.  She had a severe diaper rash with a prolapsing rectum.  The infant was transported to Mount Nittany Medical Center by ambulance.

The same day, she was transported to and admitted for treatment at the Geisinger Medical Center’s Children’s Hospital in Danville, Pa.

She was diagnosed with multiple areas of abrasions and excoriation over the face and flank of right great toe; several bruises over the head, abdomen, right arm and legs bilaterally; excoriated and denuded perianal region with deep perianal furrows and anal prolapse; a left, fourth anterior rib facture; and bilateral, medial and lateral metaphyseal corner factures of the femurs.

In a phone interview with state police on Friday, Paul J. Bellino, M.D., Geisinger Medical Center, stated that, “This was the worst case of child abuse in an infant of this age that he has ever seen.”

In particular, the injury to the infant’s mouth and nose would have created an “extreme” amount of blood loss and pain, Bellino told state police.

According to state police interviews with Mills and McGuire, the infant was in their sole care at their residence on Edwards Street in Osceola Mills.  Both stated that she wasn’t in the care of anyone else between Feb. 26 and March 1 when these injuries occurred to her.

Mills allegedly admitted to pulling the infant girl up off the changing table by her ankles forcefully and causing injuries to her legs while caring for her Feb. 26.  According to the affidavits, both Mills and McGuire failed to seek immediate medical treatment for the infant for her severe diaper rash and injuries.

Bail has been set for Mills and McGuire at $100,000 and $50,000, respectively.  Their preliminary hearings have been scheduled for 11 a.m. Wednesday during centralized court at the Clearfield County Jail.