Posts Tagged ‘formula’

Would you feed your baby rocket fuel?

You may be feeding your baby rocket fuel and not know it. baby-bottle
 
The CDC has tested several samples of infant formula and found traces of perchlorate, a chemical used in rocket fuel.  If the powdered formula was also mixed with water also contaminated with perchlorate, it could exceed levels considered safe for adults.
 
“No tests have ever shown the chemical caused health problems, but scientists have said significant amounts of perchlorate can affect thyroid function. The thyroid helps set the body’s metabolism. Thyroid problems can impact fetal and infant brain development.”
 
The brands of formula tested were not released.
 
Earlier this year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said it was considering setting new limits on the amount of perchlorate that would be acceptable in drinking water. A few states have already set their own limits.

The EPA has checked nearly 4,000 public water supplies serving 10,000 people or more. About 160 of the water systems had detectable levels of perchlorate, and 31 had levels high enough to exceed a new safety level the EPA is considering.

This is just really sad. I breastfeed, so I don’t have to worry about the formula contamination, but I have friends who formula feed, and this is a stress they don’t need on their plate. I do worry about the water contamination. I don’t really want to be drinking rocket fuel, even if at a “safe” level. Just like I
 
What can you do?
- Don’t freak out and don’t stop giving your baby formula
- Breastfeed if you can
- Since the brands tested were not disclosed, choosing a different formula is not helpful (and you should consult your pediatrician before doing so in any case).
- Install a water filtration system capable of removing perchlorate for use of mixing with formula (and drinking of course!)
- If you do a little homework, you can probably find bottled water that has used one of the above methods. But note: Not all bottled water is the same! Several manufacturers simply bottle filtered tap water. Know what you are buying.
- Since the food we eat could be irrigated with water contaminated with perchlorate, buy produce from areas that do not use contaminated water to irrigate.
Check this table for areas contaminated with perchlorate 
And a map from the EPA
And sites known to manufacturer or use perchlorate
- And write letters – write letters to your congressmen, formula manufacturers, the FDA, the president – anyone who could have influence. Let them know rocket fuel in formula and in drinking water is not acceptable.

Source: FoxNews

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Diapers on sale!

Diapers.com is having a sale on diapers. Check out their great sale. Save an additional $10 by using coupon code AMOMS10 at checkout! Code applies to new customers.

Diapers.com has expanded their offerings and now offers all kinds of gear, trinkets and whatnot for babies, including feeding supplies for breastfeeding, bottle feeding and solids; cloth diapering; strollers and other gear; toys including wood; formula and so much more!

Don’t forget to use coupon code AMOMS10 to save $10! Oh, and if you spend $49+ you will also get free 2 day shipping! 

Shop now because the sale ends at the end of February!

FDA finds melamine in popular US infant formulas

And looks like they have been trying to keep this quiet. Melamine has been detected in many popular infant formulas.

The FDA is contradicting themselves saying now that the melamine levels detected are “safe,” though last month the agency stated it was unable to identify any melamine exposure level as safe for infants.

Melamine is the chemical that was recently found in Chinese infant formula, which killed 4 infants and sickened over 50,000. The FDA is saying parents should not find alternatives to formula, however, some brands tested at lower levels than others, so I say parents should determine what is best for their child. And when changing diet, it’s best to contact your pediatrician before making changes.

Here is an excerpt from the article on some of the findings:

According to FDA data for tests of 77 infant formula samples, a trace concentration of melamine was detected in one product — Mead Johnson’s Infant Formula Powder, Enfamil LIPIL with Iron. An FDA spreadsheet shows two tests were conducted on the Enfamil, with readings of 0.137 and 0.14 parts per million.

Three tests of Nestle‘s Good Start Supreme Infant Formula with Iron detected an average of 0.247 parts per million of cyanuric acid, a melamine byproduct.

The FDA said last month that the toxicity of cyanuric acid is under study, but that meanwhile it is “prudent” to assume that its potency is equal to that of melamine.

And while the FDA said tests of 18 samples of formula made by Abbott Laboratories, including its Similac brand, did not detect melamine, spokesman Colin McBean said some company tests did find the chemical. He did not identify the specific product or the number of positive tests.

Read the entire press release here.

Breastfeeding is the perferred way to feed a child and is increasingly becoming more popular thanks to better information on the advantages of breastfeeding reaching expecting parents. However in some cases, breastfeeding is just not possible, if if the desire to is there. In that situation, parents must consider donor milk or formula. And don’t babies deserve a safe formula free of chemicals and other toxins?

What you can do:

Contact your congressmen and let them know this is not acceptable.

Write the FDA.

Sign a petition, such as this one.

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Is it safe to microwave plastic?

The Milwaukee Wisconsin Sentinel conducted a study on the safety of microwaving plastics. Surprisingly, BPA (bisphenol-A) was found to be leaching from many types of plastic, not just polycarbonate. And these plastic containers are labeled “microwave safe,” a claim that is commonly used yet not regulated.

Excerpt:
“The amounts detected were at levels that scientists have found cause neurological and developmental damage in laboratory animals,” the paper reports. “The problems include genital defects, behavioral changes and abnormal development of mammary glands. The changes to the mammary glands were identical to those observed in women at higher risk for breast cancer.”

Makes me glad I recently ditched my plastic for glass, and I usually remove the plastic lid before putting in the microwave and ensure no plastic is touching food in the microwave.

BPA was also found in the plastic trays of microwavable meals, microwavable soup containers and plastic baby food packaging. Even in plastics labeled #1, 2 and 5, which are generally considered safe and typically BPA-free.

This researcher simply states
“There is no such thing as safe microwaveable plastic,” said Frederick vom Saal, a University of Missouri researcher who oversaw the newspaper’s testing.

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BPA linked to chemotherapy resistance

New research show BPA can reduce the effectiveness of chemotherapy treatments. Not surprising since previous research shows BPA can cause cancer.

“In tests on breast cancer cells, researchers from the University of Cincinnati found that Bisphenol A (BPA) may protect cancer cells from dying off when they are exposed to anti-cancer drugs.”

UC researchers used the same low-dose amounts of BPA that are found in the normal adult.

“They found that BPA acts on cancer cells in a similar manner to estrogen. Estrogen stimulates the creation of proteins that protect cancer cells from chemotherapy drugs.
Researchers have long known about this estrogen-induced effect on chemotherapy. However, they have been puzzled by the fact that some women who have less estrogen in their system, such as post-menopausal women, can still be resistant to anti-cancer medications.

The researchers said the findings will help scientists determine why these and other cancer patients, such as those with advanced stages of the disease, are resistant to chemotherapy.”

Very interesting findings. Wonder what the FDA and their cronies in the plastics industry will say to dismiss this?

This is yet another study, in a long and growing list, that shows BPA is indeed harmful at even low doses considered “safe” by the FDA.

Banning BPA will certainly send a message to manufacturers (who are already feeling the pinch in the baby product industry) and the government, that we will not stand for this. BPA is commonly found in the lining of canned foods and soda cans, dental fillings, polycarbonate water bottles, polycarbonate baby bottles and likely lurks in other areas we do not even think about – medical equipment for one.

How do you avoid BPA? Typically, BPA is found in polycarbonate plastic containers – look at the bottom of the container, if a recycle #7 symbol is there, it very likely contains BPA. However, it does not ALWAYS mean BPA is present – i.e. some of those single serve fruit contains are layered plastic and must be labeled as #7. But if the plastic is translucent and hard like glass, it’s more than likely made of BPA. Avoid canned foods (except the Eden Organics line which use another technology and their cans are BPA-free) and canned sodas. If you formula feed—watch out, many formula cans are lined with BPA, so at minimum use a powdered formula and not a liquid.

Sources: CTV.ca, Science Daily and the Daily Green

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Similac SimplePac – Is it BPA-free or not?

This the the question SafeMama posed to the formula maker Similac.

Here is what SafeMama found out, or rather what they didn’t find out since Similac really didn’t fully answer their question:

Here is what we know and what Similac is allowing us to know.  The new SimplePac™ container and lid is made of High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) which indicated to me that the plastic container itself is BPA Free.  That much I know.  Here is where it gets tricky.  The representatives I spoke to, and I spoke to at least 3 because they kept transferring me when I pressed them for more information, will say this and only this:

“No portion of the container that comes in contact with the formula contains BPA.”

See the part I underlined?  That’s what concerns me.  They will not deviate from this scripted statement that I am sure their very expensive legal team created for them.  After the second rep transferred me to Pam, the Customer Relations representative specialist or whatever, I pressed further because I am not satisfied unless they say “Yes Ma’am, rest assured the whole thing is BPA Free.”

I asked Pam about the foil seal that typically is present in formula containers to preserve the product on the shelf.  I had no idea if this product even had one, but she confirmed it does.  She would not however provide me with any information regarding the foil seal, what it was made of and whether or not the foil is coated with an epoxy resin.  Many times those coatings do contain BPA.  She told me:

“We don’t have any information about that, I’m sorry.” And refused to delve any further claiming ignorance and denying she had any information to give me on the matter.  No information?  That sounds weird considering the company most CERTAINLY knows what its made of and whats on or not on it.   They don’t have any information they want parents to know is what it really means to me.

The main problem I have with their statement is that I don’t know what “comes in contact with the formula” means if they are being so strict in what they tell consumers.  Does it mean “only if you don’t turn it upside down so the formula doesn’t rest on the foil seal” count too?  Their resistance to disclose the materials on the foil seal makes me wonder.

Pam informed me that I should encourage our readers to call Similac if they have any questions.  Do go ahead and do that SafeParents.   Similac has a toll free number 1-800-232-7677 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., CST/CDT.  They would rather tell you, the ignorant consumer who doesn’t understand what HDPE is, themselves and bank on the fact that no one will ask the questions we really want answers to.

Bottom Line: To answer the original question “Is the new Similac SimplePac packaging BPA free?”  The answer for now is “Maybe.”  Or in Similac’s words “the part that comes in contact with the formula” is.

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Chinese milk scandal widens

This just gets worse and worse. The Chinese milk scandal has spread basically to anything made with any milk product whatsoever. Baby cereal, baby food, even those made by Heinz, has been tested and has confirmed unacceptable levels of melamine. Bread, cookies, crackers, chocolates, cheese powder made for Pizza Hut are on the growing list – all found to have unacceptable levels of melamine.

This is so troubling – 4 infants have died, more than 50,000 infants are sick, and too many of those have acute kidney failure. Now a mother and her children from Taiwan have kidney stones from eating tainted Chinese products while in the country. Even baby zoo animals have fallen ill after being fed the tainted milk.

While the FDA is close watching all import, please people, read the packaging to see where the product was made. If it was made in China, don’t buy it or eat it!! The list of contaminated food products grows daily. I am just all out boycotting ANYTHING made in China. Many toys, clothing items and shoes have been recalled for lead, food has been tainted with melamine. They obviously have no value on human health, so I have no faith or value in anything coming out of that country. And even US companies who manufacture their products in China really have no control on what actually goes on in their factories and it’s quite obvious by the number of recalls that they do not independently test for lead once the finished product his US soil.

Please read this press release for an update on what products are known to be contaminated today – of course that list is likely to grow by tomorrow.

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Nursing is more than breastfeeding

I thought this was a great little article at SAFbaby.

Breastfeeding isn’t only about providing mother’s milk. While seldom recognized in literature, doctors’ advice or common conversation, there’s a whole lot more to breastfeeding than nutrition and immunity, and some of this can be achieved during bottlefeeding as well.

Breastfeeding has taken quite a bashing over the last century. In order to rebuild acceptance of breastfeeding, breastfeeding advocates have focused on the importance its nutritive and immune support roles. But breastfeeding is designed to be much more than just providing food — it is a time for nursing, a time for comfort and nurturing. This is a time for studying and memorizing each other’s faces, for speaking or singing to your baby and developing her trust and nonverbal communication.
Read more…

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More information surfaces on China formula recall

There are now 3 infant deaths, over 6,000 are sickened and 158 infants have accute kidney failure that are all known to be a direct relation to drinking the Chinese formula laced with Melamine. The melamine was added to the milk to give it the protein it was lacking.

Here is the most sad and shocking thing. The formula manufacturer, Sanlu, along with other government officials, knew about the tainted formula in early August, but delayed going public with the information as to not harm China’s image among the hype of the Olymipc Games in Beijing. For good reason, Sanlu’s chairwoman has been fired from the company and arrested.

Among the other offending companies are Beijing Olympics sponsor Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group and China’s biggest dairy producer, Mengniu Dairy, which plans to recall “unfit” products.

Excerpt:

The scare has rippled beyond China’s borders with the top quality watchdog saying two manufacturers were recalling milk powder exported to Yemen, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Gabon and Burundi. It was not clear whether those exports were contaminated. Hong Kong food inspectors ordered the recall of an ice cream bar made by Shanghai Yili AB foods because melamine had been found.

and another:

The escalating scandal is an embarrassing failure for China’s product safety system, overhauled last year to restore consumer confidence and preserve exports markets after a string of warnings and recalls involving tainted toothpaste, faulty tyres and pet food laced with melamine.

Really? You think this is embarrassing for China? It’s a tragedy. These officials put China’s “image” ahead of human lives. Now 3 infants are dead, 158 have acute kidney failure and over 6,000 others are sick because of their decision. I am willing to bet they are regretting not going public sooner. It may have at least prevented some of these illnesses.

This really sickens me. While breastfeeding is the best for nearly all infants, there are medical reasons why some infants can’t take breastmilk or mother’s can’t offer it. These babies certainly deserve much better than this. After trying to avoid China-made products, toys in particular, I am going to have to go on an all-out ban until they get their sh– together.

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2 death from Chinese Formula – FDA warns parents to not purchase Chinese made formula

This is just horrible. Two infants have died in China from drinking formula tainted with Melamine. Officials believe Melamine was added to give the appearance the powdered formula contained more protein than it did. Over 1200 other infants are known to be sick and I am sure that number is expected to rise. The tainted formula has caused kidney stones in infants, a usually very rare condition in babies.

The FDA has put out a statement telling parents to avoid formula manufacturered in China. According to a news report this morning, it sounds like Chinese-made formula in the US is mainly limited to Chinese grocery stores and neighborhoods, but it is still wise to read ALL formula labels prior to purchasing.

Melamine is the same plastic that was found in pet food a few years ago that caused kindey failure and death in many beloved pets. Melamine is also a common medium used to make children’s plates. I have tossed out all my Melamine plates.

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