Preservatives added to Infant Organic Baby Formula






The , an watchdog consumer group, filed a formal legal complaint with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) against several infant formula manufacturers that are adding two synthetic preservatives to certified infant formula. The same infant formulas are marketed in .

The Foods Production Act, passed by the United States Congress in 1990, explicitly bans synthetic preservatives in food, yet manufactures are adding preservatives in the form of beta carotene and ascorbyl palmitate, to prevent the oxidation and rancidity of ingredients such as the controversial patented supplements DHA and ARA, manufactured by Martek Biosciences Corporation (Royal DSM) and marketed as Life’sDHA.

The public watchdog group has filed numerous legal complaints with the USDA, asking for removal of unapproved like the DHA algal and ARA fungal oils, manufactured by Martek, which was recently acquired by the Dutch Royal DSM. According to The , there have been more than a dozen unapproved that have been added to infant formula over the past five years.
When formula with Life’sDHA first came on the market, the FDA received numerous adverse reaction reports from parents and healthcare providers who noted serious gastrointestinal symptoms in who had previously tolerated formula without the Martek DHA and ARA oils.

Synthetic beta carotene and ascorbyl palmitate, according to the International Formula Council (the industry’s trade-lobby group), contribute no nutritional value to infant formula, but rather serve to prevent oxidation and rancidity in “powder formulations containing DHA and ARA”, misleading both consumers and the government regulatory bodies.

The federal standards also require that synthetics be allowed in foods only if they are deemed essential. The public interest watchdog group points the finger at the formula manufacturers’ certifying agent, Quality Assurance International (QAI). QAI is one of the largest certifying agents, and has come under fire in the past for certifying livestock operations that failed to meet the standards for animal welfare and outdoor access.

The point of certifying agents is that they are recognized as USDA crediting agents and they misrepresent to the public that the label represents foods that are free from unnecessary .

Formula products that have been named in the complaint are : Earth’s Best, Similac , Vermont Organics, Bright Beginnings and Parent’s Choice. Similac is produced by Abbott Laboratories, a $30 billion pharmaceutical corporation. The other brands are produced by PBM Nutritionals, owned by Perrigo, a $2 billion dollar pharmaceutical corporation.

Parents who utilize baby formula should carefully read the label of the brand and immediately report any adverse reaction or gastro-intestinal upset.

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