May 22, 2024

All Baby Food Brands Need to Know About AB 899.

Arely Escandon

If you own a baby food brand and are not aware of AB 899 and what it means for you, you need to act now.

The goal of AB 899 is to improve baby food safety by disclosing levels of toxic heavy metals to consumers, how? Using QR codes.

We explain the requirements and everything you need to know below.

What is AB 899?

California Assembly Bill 899 (AB 899) is a new law that requires baby food brands to conduct rigorous testing for toxic heavy metals in infant foods and to disclose these results to consumers. 

This law promotes brand-consumer transparency and allows consumers to make informed decisions for the health of their babies.

From now on, baby food brands must test their products for toxic heavy metals (mentioned below) at least once a month and display this information with a QR code on their products.

Why Was This Law Passed?

AB 899 was created to prioritize the health and safety of all food specifically created for our little ones, ensuring that the products they consume meet the highest standards of purity.

With increasing consumer demand for clean and safe ingredients, this legislation pushes brands to adopt more transparent sourcing and manufacturing practices.

Which Brands Does This Apply To?

AB 899 applies to all brands of baby food, specifically foods marketed to children under two years of age. 

This includes all foods packaged in jars, pouches, tubs and boxes, excluding infant formula.

This law applies to final baby food products that are sold, manufactured, delivered, held, or offered for sale in California, including imported products.

So, whether you are a large manufacturer or a specialty brand, if you sell baby food in California, you must comply with the law.

What Does This Mean for Baby Food Brands?

Under AB 899, baby food brands must:

  1. Test Products Monthly: A representative sample of the final baby food product must be tested for toxic heavy metals (Arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury are the four toxic elements under AB 899) at a proficient laboratory at least once per month.
  2. Descriptive information (e.g., product name, universal product code, size, lot numbers, or batch numbers) to enable accurate identification of the final baby food product by consumers.
  3. Display Test Results: Each product must feature a QR code on its label that leads to the test results for toxic elements and a link to related FDA guidance.

Non-Compliance Consequences

Failure to comply with AB 899 will result in your products being prohibited from sale, manufacture, delivery, holding, or offering for sale in California. This can significantly impact your business, so it's crucial to meet these requirements.

Steps Brands Need to Take ASAP

  1. Find a Proficient Lab: Partner with a laboratory that meets the required standards to conduct the monthly testing.
  2. Add QR Codes to Products: Update your product labels to include QR codes that display the test results.
  3. Build Dynamic Landing Pages: Create landing pages that present the testing information and link to the related FDA guidance.

How Brij Can Help

Brij offers solutions to help you comply with AB 899, and of course use it as an opportunity to engage with your customers. With Brij, you can:

  • Share Relevant Content: Provide valuable information to your customers.
  • Collect Data Through Campaigns: Engage consumers with sweepstakes and other interactive campaigns.
  • Drive Retail Velocity: Boost sales with digital rebates.

Embrace the Opportunity

While compliance with AB 899 may require adjustments to your sourcing and production methods, it also presents a unique opportunity. By demonstrating your commitment to quality and safety, you can differentiate your brand and build trust with consumers.

For more information on how Brij can assist, reach out to us. Let's ensure the highest standards for our little ones and turn compliance into a strategic advantage.

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