Mom Alert! Arsenic & Bad Sugars Found In Infant Formula
Food safety is a big concern for all moms in this country. But when it comes to harmful chemicals and other ingredients in our infant formulas--I can turn into a real "mama grizzly" (sorry to quote Sarah Palin). Did you see the recent studies and eye-grabbing headlines showing super high levels of arsenic were found in some organic (for crying out loud) formulas and that other formulas by Similac had super-high levels of the bad sugars that have already been banned from infant formulas in Europe.
Moms, we have to demand better for our babies.
In the first recent news report, Dartmouth researchers studied organic powdered baby formulas and found "dangerous amounts of arsenic" in formulas that brown rice syrup as a top ingredient. Organic is supposed to mean free of pesticides and other harmful chemicals.
The contaminated formula was found to have arsenic levels up to six times the amount allowed by the FDA for drinking water. And they also found that brown rice sweetened cereal bars and energy bars had high levels of arsenic.
If that wasn't enough to cause concern, did you see a recent news report on the unreported sugar levels in infant formula? Apparently a grandmother in the suburban Chicago area set about a fact-finding mission when her grand daughter gained 4 pounds in one month after the baby's mom switched from breast milk to infant formula.
According to the news report, when the grandmother first called the formula company and asked how many grams of sugar were in each serving, she was told, 'Well, ma'am, we don't add sugar to our baby formulas.'"
But with ‘corn syrup’ solids listed first on the ingredients part of the label, this savvy granny knew better than to accept that answer. She knew sugar was in there, but how much? The news station hired an independent lab to test seven formula brands.
Most formulas had high amounts of the good sugars, lactose, like what is found is breast milk. But, Similac, the test revealed, added other bad sugars. The kind that have been banned from infant formula in Europe.
Similac Advance Organic Complete Nutrition contained one of the sweetest kind: sucrose -- measuring in at 3.5 grams of sugar per serving. Similac Soy Infant Formula with Iron contained four kinds of added sugar, including sucrose, for a total of 3.8 grams per serving, roughly the equivalent of one teaspoon of sugar every 5 ounces. Again, formulas labeled as organic and soy, labeling we perceive as "safer" were the worst culprits.
In Europe, concern over childhood obesity led to a ban on sucrose in baby formula. Dozens of countries do not allow the kind of harmful sugar found in the two Similac brands.
Yes, this is the part of the post where I remind all moms who can, that breast milk isn't made in a factory. I know so many moms who make their own baby food because of food safety concerns but consider infant formula safe. The only factory you can really trust is your own body. No worry of rat infestation, improper handling or tampering.
Moms, please read the story here including the very interesting response from the International Formula Council.
And take note, do you know the difference between "safe" and "generally recognized as safe, GRAS." I'm afraid the formula companies have this confused.