From Reuters:

Infant formula and solid baby food frequently contain fungus-derived hormones that have been shown to cause infertility in mammals, Italian researchers report.

Scientists at the University of Pisa report that as many as 28 percent of samples of milk-based baby formulas they tested were contaminated with the fungal hormones, known as mycoestrogens.

They tested 185 formula samples and 44 samples of meat-based baby food from a total of 21 brands commonly sold in Italy.

The substances detected in the baby products included zearalenone and its derivatives, which comes from Fusarium, a large family of fungi common in farm settings.

Although zearalenone and related chemicals that resemble the hormone estrogen have been linked to infertility in mammals, especially pigs, it’s not clear whether babies exposed to the compounds through food or formula would be at risk for any reproductive problems later in life.

Previous research has shown that the body rapidly breaks down zearalenone into byproducts that pose no health threat.

Still, the Italian researchers say their findings merit follow-up and ought to prompt closer scrutiny of baby formula and baby foods for the presence of these and other toxins.