Tag Archives: StopChildAbuse

Alarming Study Of Baby Foods And Formulas

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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.

NM Reports Increase In Child Abuse, Neglect

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There’s no excuse for Child Abuse

Child Abuse, Neglect strain New Mexico
protection program

SANTA FE, NM  –  New Mexico’s child protection system is straining to keep pace with an increase in abuse and neglect cases, despite increased public spending, according to a report from state analysts released Tuesday.

The report from the nonpartisan Legislative Finance Committee shows the protective services program for children in state custody has failed to meet seven out of eight performance goals.  For the fiscal year ending in June, the program missed benchmarks for reunifying children with parents in under a year, the number of children returning to foster care and the speed of adoptions.

The number of children placed in protective care in New Mexico increased by 6 percent to 2,674 during the one-year period ending in June.  The state spends 21 percent more on protective programs for children than it did four years ago.

Children, Youth and Families Department Secretary Monique Jacobson said her agency has been encouraging the public to report child abuse — possibly pushing up case numbers in the process.

“We’re asking people to make child abuse their business,” she said, noting other factors in New Mexico including an opioid addiction epidemic have influence caseloads.

Jacobson acknowledged improvements in the state’s child welfare system are needed, while highlighted progress toward a more stable workforce and an increase in the number of field workers who visit homes to detect maltreatment and determine whether a child may be in danger.

The job turnover rate dropped to 25 percent this year for child protective services workers, down from 34 percent in 2014, Jacobson said.

She cautioned that efforts to reunify mistreated children with parents cannot be rushed or incentivized, and that her agency is working with the court system to streamline adoption procedures. Jacobson noted year-over-year statistical progress in six out of eight evaluation categories for child protective services.

The analysis from the Legislature notes that the state could save tens of millions of dollars in the short run with just a 10 percent reduction in child maltreatment and foster placements.

Generally high evaluation marks were given to the performance of early childhood services including programs that promote high-quality child care.

Higher Numbers Of Child Abuse, Neglect In NC

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North Carolina seeing increased numbers of Child Abuse and Neglect.

121,000 reported cases of Child Abuse,
neglect in NC: 600 reported cases
in McDowell

McDowell, NC  –  Early data shows there were over 121,000 investigated cases of child abuse and neglect in North Carolina during fiscal year July 2016 through June 2017.  State law requires individuals or institutions suspecting child abuse or neglect to report cases to the Division of Social Services (DSS) for investigation.

“The high number of children impacted by neglect or abuse indicates too many families are struggling and under severe stress,” said Rebecca Starnes, vice president of Children’s Home Society of North Carolina.  “Abuse and neglect can be the product of a number of issues facing families, including poverty, working multiple jobs to make ends meet, high levels of stress, unrealistic expectations of children, mental health challenges, or substance abuse.”

In McDowell alone, there were 600 reported cases of abuse in neglect in the 2016-17 year, with over 75 percent found to be true and put into case management services.

“The majority of our reports have been methamphetamine-related,” said McDowell Department of Social Services Director Lisa Sprouse. “Just last week, we received multiple reports of babies being born in McDowell County that tested positive for polysubstance abuse.”

When asked about the uptick in referrals across the state, Sprouse says that the biggest contributor has been substance abuse.

“I looked at those numbers and they don’t include foster care, but foster care has greatly increased due to the rise of opioid addictions and, primarily here in this county, methamphetamine addiction,” said Sprouse.  “In the month of July in this agency alone, we placed 18 children in foster care, probably 80 percent of those due to substance abuse from parents, and right now it is IV drug use.”

DSS staff investigates and assesses all suspected cases of child abuse and neglect; diagnoses the problem with the family; provides in-home services to help keep families together; coordinates community and agency services; or, petitions the court for removal of the child from the home, if necessary.

To treat instances like these and other child-related cases, McDowell DSS has a collaborative relationship with a number of organizations like the McDowell Sheriff’s Office, the county school system, Lily’s Place – the local subsidiary of Southmountain Children and Family Services – Freedom Life Ministries, and equine and agricultural therapy at Hope 29:11 for older children not living with their biological parents, as well as local events like this Sunday’s Unity Service at East Middle School and Child Abuse Prevention Month in April.

“We try to utilize conventional collaborations as well as unconventional,” said Sprouse.  “Sometimes in this day and time, the conventional methods with going to an office for mental health services is not really what works for our families, so we try to meet them where we are and provide services that can help them from point A to point B and help them make their family whole again and allow their children to come home.”

For more information on McDowell DSS’ Children and Family Services, visit http://www.mcdowellcountyncdss.org/children-family-services.

MD Woman Arrested For Abuse Of Toddler

.jpg photo of Mother arrested for Child Abuse
Rocla Aceneth Tovar Calderon, 40

Prince Frederick Woman Arrested for
Child Abuse

Prince Frederick, MD  –  On August 10, 2017, police responded to a trailer on Hallowing Point Rd, in Prince Frederick, for a report of child abuse.

Detective Jernigam from the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office and a Child Protective Services Worker from the county responded to the trailer after they received complaints that a 3-year-old boy had visible marks on his body.  The complaints came from the child’s teachers at the Head Start program.

The child had marks on his chest, back, and legs that appeared to have been made by a thin cord of some type.  The child’s speech and language is delayed, and he was only able to indicate his mom was mad.

Police made contact with the child’s mother, identified as Rocla Aceneth Tovar Calderon, 40, of Prince Frederick.

The Child Protective Services Worker explained they needed to speak with Calderon about the marks on he son’s arms, and Calderon stated that she hit him because she was angry because he “do a lot of things” and she “need to teach him”.  Calderon went on to say that she tries not to hit him because “he’s white and it leaves marks”, which she knows is a problem, and that sometimes she has to hit him so he will learn.

Calderon explained that she is having issues with potty training, destructive behavior, and that the only way she can keep him occupied is with a tablet.

Calderon was asked what she hit the child with, and she said it was a cord to a tablet because he chewed it and it broke.  The previous night, 8/9/2017, Calderon admitted to hitting him between 5-7 times but she was not exactly sure because she was so angry with him.  Calderon then explained that she usually uses a shoe to hit him, but she had the cord in her hand, which is why she used it.  Calderon said that it hurts her hand to spank him with her hand and gives her blood clots, so she uses a shoe.

The Child Protective Services Worker explained that she could not hit the child with cords and leave marks.  Calderon repeatedly indicated that she cannot control his behavior, citing examples of him urinating in a basket full of clean laundry, and on the blankets on her bed.  While speaking with Calderon, the child grabbed an empty water bottle, urinated inside it, and placed it on the floor near the front door.  Calderon made no attempts to stop this behavior, and rather indicated that it was another example of not being able to control him “because he’s 3”.

Police described the residence as “extremely unkempt, with old food on the floor, tables, chairs, and counters. Insects were visible flying around the residence, crawling on the counters and floors.  Ms. Calderon apologized for the mess and stated that it is Thursday which is her day to clean.”

The Child Protective Services Worker prepared a safety plan for Calderon, which was signed by both parties, indicating that she was not allowed to hit the child with any objects.  The plan also indicated that in-home services would be provided by CPS to assist Calderon with the child’s behavior and with cleaning her home so that it is sanitary.

Rocla Aceneth Tovar Calderon, was arrested and charged with assault, and child abuse, she posted a $10,000 bail and was released. Calderon has a preliminary court date on September 22, 2017, in Calvert District Court.

Son Of G. Gordon Liddy Charged With Child Porn

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NCMEC received a tip that Child Pornography had been up-loaded.

California State Prosecutor Charged With
Child Porn

A California deputy attorney general has been charged in San Diego with possession of child pornography.

Raymond Joseph Liddy was arrested Tuesday.  He pleaded not guilty and was released on $100,000 bond, according to a complaint.  The attorney general’s office said they are aware of the matter and that the 53-year-old Liddy was placed on administrative leave.

According to a complaint filed in federal court, an electronic service provider sent a tip to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in January that a user had uploaded an image that appeared to be child porn.

A month later another provider sent a similar tip to the San Diego Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.  The activity was traced to his home in Coronado, stated the complaint.

Liddy is accused of being in possession of about a dozen illegal photos.  He was put on home detention and is wearing an ankle device.

Local and federal authorities said they traced the activity to Liddy’s home.  When they questioned him, Liddy said he downloads sexual images and deletes them, according to the complaint.

He also said he may have forwarded some of the images, and some of them may have been of children, possibly.

They searched his home and uncovered disturbing photos on a computer and thumbdrive of minors engaged in sexual conduct.

Defense Attorney Knut Johnson, who has taken Liddy’s case, told NBC 7 that he knows his client is a good person and all his coworkers describe him as an honorable man.