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Infant Formula Manufacturers Again under Ethical Cloud: 'Marketing Gimmick' Linked to Serious Illnesses
Date:1/24/2008

ARLINGTON, Va., Jan. 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A report released today by The Cornucopia Institute presents research indicating that new additives placed in infant formula are seriously endangering the health of some formula-fed newborns and toddlers.

The report, 'Replacing Mother--Imitating Human Breast Milk in the Laboratory,' details research questioning the alleged benefits of adding "novel" omega-3 fatty acids, produced in laboratories and extracted from algae and fungus, into infant formulas. The additives raised health and safety red flags during preapproval testing while aggressive marketing campaigns by some infant formula manufacturers appear to have encouraged new mothers to give up nursing for the questionable products.

"When I worked in the hospital's neonatal ward, the nurses all called it 'the diarrhea formula'," says Sam Heather Doak, LPN, IBCLC, from Marietta, Ohio. "We've seen infants, tiny little humans, with diarrhea that just wouldn't stop after being given this formula." For infants, virulent and long-term diarrhea is considered a serious and life-threatening event.

The infant formula referenced by Doak was supplemented with Martek Biosciences Corporation's laboratory-produced oils containing DHA and ARA. DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid, and ARA, an omega-6 fatty acid, are naturally found in human breast milk and are considered important nutrients for infants.

But laboratory-produced DHASCO and ARASCO (Martek's names for their proprietary oils) are materially different from the fats found in a mother's breast milk. Martek's products are extracted from fermented algae and fungus, with the use of the neurotoxic solvent hexane. They contain only 40 to 50% DHA and ARA, with the balance from sunflower oil and other components, including some not found in human breast milk and never before a part of the human infant diet.

"It's true that DHA and ARA are important nutrients for developing infants--tha
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SOURCE The Cornucopia Institute
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