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Nestlé and Mead Johnson Nutrition dismiss call to remove GMOs from US infant formula

7 comments

By Mark Astley+

03-May-2013
Last updated on 04-May-2013 at 13:36 GMT

Nestlé USA and Mead Johnson Nutrition have dismissed calls to remove genetically-modified organisms (GMO) from their infant formula products in the US – citing the approved use of GMOs by several national and global regulatory bodies.

DairyReporter.com approached the companies following the publication of an open letter to Nestlé USA, Mead Johnson Nutrition and Abbott Laboratories by anti-GMO campaign group, GMO Inside.

According to GMO Inside, these companies “likely” use GMO ingredients such as soy, corn and sugar in their popular infant formula products.

In the letter, the campaign group urged Nestlé USA’s Paul Bulcke, Abbott Laboratories’ Miles White, and Mead Johnson Nutrition’s R Kasper Jakobsen to “take a proactive stand and announce a phase out of all GMOs in your infant formulas in 2013.”

“Similac, Enfamil, and Gerber Good Start – which combined account for more than 90% of all infant formula sales in the US – are exposing American and Canadian babies to potentially grave health risks by using genetically modified ingredients,” said a statement accompanying the letter.

GMO Inside issued its call to Nestlé USA, Mead Johnson Nutrition and Abbott Laboratories just days after Abbott Laboratories shareholders voted not to remove GMOs from the company’s Similac infant formula range.

FDA, WHO, FAO declared GMOs safe

DairyReporter.com approached Nestlé USA and Mead Johnson Nutrition in regards to the letter.

In a statement, Mead Johnson Nutrition said that its infant formula products “comply with all applicable laws and regulations” in each country that it operates in.

“The health and safety of our consumers is our highest priority, which is why we take such care with the quality of our ingredients, the integrity of our manufacturing processes, the scientific rigor behind our products, and the careful adherence to all government and health authority rules and regulations – in addition to our own very stringent Mead Johnson standards.”

“Both national and global regulatory agencies, including the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the World Health Organisation and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, have declared that foods and ingredients produced through biotechnology are safe,” added the statement.

IFC members adhere to standards

Our approach to Nestlé USA was passed on to the International Formula Council (IFC), which represents the interests of infant formula manufacturers and marketers including Nestlé, Abbott Laboratories, and Mead Johnson Nutrition.

In a statement, the IFC said that all of its members “adhere to all local, regional and national standards for the use and labelling of ingredients.”

“Agencies including the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Agriculture, in conjunction with individual state governments all work together to ensure that crops produced with biotechnology are safe to eat and environmentally sound.”

“Some infant formula ingredients, such as soy protein, can be derived from crops grown using biotechnology (i.e., genetic engineering or genetic modification),” it said.

“Billions of people, including infants, have eaten biotech food safely for more than 15 years, with no evidence of harm demonstrated anywhere in the world,” the statement added. 

7 comments (Comments are now closed)

Not only GMO,Vegetable oils don't occur in mothers milk.

I see a list of vegetable oils that must be processed at high temperature and what not.Is it safe to use such oils in Formulas?Mother's milk nor cow's milk have these oils in them.The refined oils as these are wrongly termed are not good for health.It leads to obesity,and a host of diseases.

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Posted by Arun
16 July 2013 | 18h43

Comment on GMOs is wrong

GMO products are only tested for safety by the companies that make them, and that's good enough for Monsanto. In independent studies they have been shown to NOT be safe. The FDA is the same regulatory agency that said Vioxx was safe and that killed 50,000+ patients. Transgenic gene gun crops are nothing at all like natural mutations. I think we all know which "Richard" is posting that industry-friendly propaganda.

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Posted by Steve
14 May 2013 | 22h45

Testing GMO's in Europe only.

GMO's are NOT tested in the US for safety or anything else. FDA doesn't test. USDA doesn't test. Monsanto's "tests" only show the "results" that favor their products.
Tests using GMO foods on animals show a whole host of problems with health, growth and reproduction. GMO's are NOT safe for any living thing on this planet.

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Posted by Kim
13 May 2013 | 01h04

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