Friday, July 4, 2008

My panties are officially in a twist

I know most of you don't supplement with formula but for those who do (OR THOSE WHO DRINK HORIZON MILK) you should read this.

Organic Infant Formula Ingredients Processed with Toxic Chemical

FDA Reports Indicate Infants Sickened From Algae/Fungal- Based Nutritional Supplements

CORNUCOPIA, WISCONSIN - April 15 - The Cornucopia Institute (
http://cornucopia. org/) filed a legal complaint with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) today, demanding that the agency enforce the organic regulations prohibiting toxic solvents from being used in the production of organic food.

The Institute, a nonprofit food and farm policy research group, found that baby formula and other food manufacturers are using hexane-extracted omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids (DHA/ARA) derived from algae and soil fungus.
Perhaps more startling, through a Freedom of Information request at the FDA, Cornucopia found algal- and fungal-based DHA/ARA have been linked to serious side effects such as virulent diarrhea and vomiting in infants consuming infant formula, many of whom required medical treatment and hospitalization.

"The federal organic regulations very clearly prohibit these oils in organic foods, so this is not a case of companies finding loopholes in the regulations. What we're seeing is the latest in a long string of USDA actions that blatantly cater to industry interests at the expense of consumer safety," said Mark Kastel, Codirector of the Cornucopia Institute, based in Cornucopia, Wisconsin. "USDA officials are simply allowing these companies to freely break the organic rules in their pursuit of profit," he adds.

Organic products with the prohibited fatty acid supplements include Horizon Organic milk with DHA (Dean Foods) and organic infant formulas, including Similac Organic (Abbott Laboratories) , Earth's Best (Hain Celestial), and Bright Beginnings Organic (PBM Products).

Right, like I don't feel shitty enough already about having to give my baby formula instead of breast milk, now there's this. Here I am, shelling out money that we can't afford to buy organic formula thinking that it's the next best choice (for the baby, for the cows, for the environment) and instead we end up with potentially poisoned baby food. And milk! Poisoned milk! Tons of people buy Horizon milk! (Granted I haven't purchased Horizon ever since I worked for an organic dairy in LA and heard disturbing things about their farms, but still.) To make matters worse, I just bought an entire case of Similac Organic ready-to-drink and a can of the Earth's Best powder. (We also use Earth's Best baby cereal with the DHA/ARA. I wonder if it's tainted too.) I'm going to write to Similac and Earth's Best and ask for a full refund. I'm also going to inform them that I'm bawling them out on my parenting website (website, blog, whatever) AND that I won't be purchasing anything from their product lines ever again. (I'd do more but I can't think of anything.) Don't mess with this monsterflippin' momma, you greedy corporate asswipes!


elsie said...

Cornucopia is a front organiZation for organic valley to promote their commercial interests over their competitors. I wouldn't put much stock in anything they say

Ali said...

Good detecting, Elsie! I'll have to look into this.

The only thing that still bothers me - and readers, help me out with this - is that if this is a smear campaign, it's a really odd one. After all, Organic Valley doesn't make baby formula. And although they do mention Horizon (their greatest competitor), the focus is clearly on Similac and Earth's Best - neither of whom sell milk. Perhaps Organic Valley is planning on launching a formula and is hoping to do some preemptive viral marketing? It seems like a huge pain in the ass to file a lawsuit against the USDA, but maybe that's how big business does things.

Anybody know more?