Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tainted formula (potentially) causes newborn death

Baby being bottle fed
A baby being bottled fed.
Creative Commons Photo by Smmchapman
It is being reported the Mead Johnson, the maker of Enfamil is being sued after a 10 day old baby died back in December. This may be "old" news since we've previously discussed this issue, but this lawsuit indicates that there was known bacteria and if the water is not hot enough, the bacteria can grow and cause death.

Check out this Business Week article for more information.

Remember, formula companies are businesses and may decide risk of suit/negative publicity over doing the right thing. Cronobacter sakazakii, aka Enterobacter is "naturally" in the environment and trace materials can be found in powdered formula. According to NIH, Nestle researchers helped discover the potentially deadly bacteria. and the fact that it may thrive in powdered formula,
"The high tolerance to desiccation provides a competitive advantage for Ent. sakazakii in dry environments, as found in milk powder factories, and thereby increases the risk of post-pasteurization contamination of the finished product."
Such a sad situation for babies, especially premature infants. I know I've seen caregivers shaking powdered formula into a bottle using water from a thermos (hopefully hot enough) but also directly with tap water.

If only more women had the support to feed their babies naturally in public. There's such a public outcry and lack of support for women and reports indicate women don't make their own breastfeeding goals. If a woman wants to breastfeed, whether it is for financial, health or other benefits, or even to avoid potential issues like the above, they should have that right and be protected by law.  

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