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

t's why they're found in human breast milk. But we have also seen that some infants are experiencing side effects like diarrhea from consuming the manufactured DHA and ARA oils in formula," says Jimi Francis, Ph.D., a biochemist specializing in DHA in infant nutrition at the Allie M. Lee Laboratory for Omega-3 Research at the University of Nevada at Reno. Also, humans produce DHA and ARA on their own from other fats.

The Cornucopia Institute, a Wisconsin-based farm and food policy research group and corporate watchdog, presented its report, in partnership with the National Alliance for Breastfeeding Advocacy, to government officials and medical professionals at today's meeting of the U.S. Breastfeeding Committee.

"While infant formula manufacturers claim that these oils are perfectly safe and necessary for proper development, our report provides a more detailed picture," said Charlotte Vallaeys, Farm and Food Policy Analyst with the Cornucopia Institute and lead author of the report. "We investigated how a toxic chemical is used as processing agents in the manufacturing process, the inadequate testing for safety, and most importantly, how some infants are experiencing serious adverse reactions from formula supplemented with these oils," Vallaeys added.

"This report presents a disturbing look at the novel ingredients in infant formula," says Marsha Walker, Executive Director of the National Alliance for Breastfeeding Advocacy. "The FDA has received scores of adverse reports on effects of these ingredients, but, to date, the public's only access to these is through Cornucopia's Freedom of Information Act request. This report will help alert the health care community and federal agencies."

Cornucopia and the National Alliance for Breastfeeding Advocacy are now petitioning the FDA for a warning label alerting parents of the range of possible complications from DHA/ARA-supplemented formula.

For more, visit Cornucopia's website
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SOURCE The Cornucopia Institute
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