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International Formula Council (IFC) Reassures Parents about Perchlorate and the Safety of Infant Formula

ATLANTA, April 3 /PRNewswire/ --

IFC's* position:

Although recent media attention has focused on the presence of trace levels of perchlorate in powdered infant formula, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have studied perchlorate extensively and have established safe reference levels that are appropriate for all consumers, including sensitive sub-populations like infants. Trace levels of perchlorate that have been detected in some infant formulas are far below those safe reference values. Health authorities continue to emphasize that infant formula is safe and the FDA "is not recommending that consumers of any age alter their diet or eating habits due to perchlorate."

Perchlorate is not an ingredient in infant formula. Perchlorate can be present in the environment, drinking water, and the food supply chain, and thus trace levels may be found in infant formula and breast milk. The body of scientific evidence indicates that these trace levels do not pose a health risk.

As an industry, members of the IFC take all safety issues very seriously. Our research and development programs are targeted to produce the highest quality of infant formula products available. When new information becomes available on substances like perchlorate, we support bringing the information forward through the accepted process of scientific peer review and evaluation. This helps ensure that it is evaluated with consideration to existing science and that policies are driven by sound science.

Parents and health professionals can be assured infant formula is safe and nutritious. For parents concerned with the perchlorate levels in their drinking water supply, FDA recommends reconstituting infant formula with bottled water or water from a home treatment device certified for perchlorate removal.


Perchlorate occurs naturally and is more commonly found in certain geographic areas, such as the Southwestern United States. Perchlorates are found in the environment and in the food supply.

Iodine has been shown to counteract the potential effects associated with perchlorate. All infant formulas manufactured in the U.S. contain iodine, as required by the FDA, to aid in the development of the baby's brain and thyroid. Additionally, the National Academy of Sciences found that perchlorates are not metabolized, are not stored in the body, and any effects of perchlorate on the thyroid are reversible once exposure stops.

For information from the FDA, please visit:

* The International Formula Council is an association of manufacturers and marketers of formulated nutrition products, e.g., infant formulas and adult nutritionals, whose members are based predominantly in North America. IFC members are: Abbott Nutrition; Mead Johnson Nutrition; Nestle Infant Nutrition; and Wyeth Nutrition.

SOURCE International Formula Council
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