Campy in UK baby sparks formula investigation

Aptamil is investigating a complaint that some of its baby milk might be linked to an 11-week-old boy getting food poisoning. Stevens found 50p-sized blood spots in her son Roman’s nappy and took him to the doctors.

He was sent to hospital where he remained for a week with constant diarrhea and a temperature. Doctors said he had a campylobacter infection but could not give a source.

Miss Stevens, a first-time mum, said the only food she had given her son was Aptamil milk powder – but the company’s initial quality checks have come back clear.

The 30-year-old, from Swindon, Wiltshire, said: ‘Roman’s tests came back and showed he had food poisoning.

‘I was gobsmacked, his insides had swollen from the food poisoning and the blood was the bacteria trying to get out of his little body.’

The insurance worker said Roman was left lethargic and pale while he was in hospital. The strain of bacteria is commonly found in meat and poultry.

While Aptamil is investigating she has stopped giving Roman the product and switched to a different milk product.

Aptamil confirmed it is investigating and said it had not had any other complaints.

A spokesman said: ‘We are aware of this complaint and are concerned to hear that Roman had been unwell.

‘We have been in contact with her and are pleased that he is recovering.

‘All our milks are manufactured to stringent quality standards including high temperature processing and a number of quality tests before they are released for sale.

‘We have checked our production records and know that all of the quality checks were carried out. We have not received any other similar complaints.”

Public Health England said it had not been asked to investigate but were aware of a confirmed case of campylobacter in a young child in the Swindon area.

Infant formula tampered with; 1 sick in Ottawa

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Nestlé Canada Inc. are advising the public that some cans of powdered infant formula found in the Nepean, Ontario area have been tampered with.

Three cans of Nestlé Good Start Iron Fortified Infant Formula, 900g size,
UPC: 0 65000 36614 3, have been found to contain a powder which
appears to be flour. These cans were found at the following retail locations: Your Independent Grocer on Strandherd Drive and Sobeys on Greenbank Drive in Nepean, Ontario.

There has been one reported illness associated with the consumption of this product.

Consumers using powdered infant formula products should look under the plastic lid of the cans and ensure the metal/foil top is sealed properly. The CFIA is conducting an investigation and the case has been referred to the police.

4 dead, 53,000 sick from melamine in Chinese baby powder; companies knew for months

The Associated Press reports that four babies have died and almost 53,000 have been sickened from melamine in baby formula in China that now appears to date back to Dec. 2007.

An investigation by the State Council, China’s Cabinet, has found that for eight months, China’s biggest producer of powdered milk, Sanlu Group Co. “did not inform the government and did not take proper measures, therefore making the situation worse.”

Melamine, which can cause kidney stones and kidney failure in babies, has since been found in infant formula and other milk products from 22 of China’s dairy companies.

Also, Li Changjiang, who headed the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine since 2001, has resigned, a year after he and the government promised to overhaul the system.

Stay away from the Chinese baby formula – dozens of babies sick in China cause of melamine in baby formula

Elizabeth Weise reports in the USA Today today that Chinese newspapers are reporting that infant formula has been linked to kidney problems and kidney stones in babies there because the formula contains melamine — the same industrial contaminant that poisoned and killed thousands of U.S. dogs and cats last year.

No baby formula approved for use in the United States is manufactured in China, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

"We want to reassure the public that there’s no contamination in the domestic supply of infant formula," says Janice Oliver, deputy of operations for FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.

In addition, no U.S. manufacturers or marketers of infant formula receive ingredients from China. "We contacted all of them,’ says Oliver.

"Chinese-manufactured infant formula is illegal in the United States and should not be coming into the United States, and we have controls at the borders to insure that infant formula products don’t come in," says Oliver.

However, the agency is concerned that illegal infant formula may be sold in Asian and ethnic markets. That happened once before in 2004, when fake infant formula from China, which killed dozens of babies in that country, was found in at least one U.S. store.

The FDA is working with state officials to make sure that all Chinese, Asian and ethnic markets are aware of the problem, Oliver says. The agency is also alerting the Chinese community to avoid using China-produced formula.

Reports in the Chinese media from several provinces say that as many as 60 babies have been admitted to hospitals with kidney stones and that the illnesses have been linked to use of a specific brand of powdered infant formula.

Melamine is a by-product of plastic manufacturing. It can be used to mimic high-protein additives such as wheat and rice gluten. Adding melamine to ordinary wheat flour, for example, makes it test as if it is the higher protein, higher cost wheat gluten.

Organic baby formula goes for the sweetest, just like kids’ cereals

The New York Times reports today that parents may be buying Similac Organic baby formula because they believe that organic is healthier, but babies may prefer Similac Organic because it is significantly sweeter than other formulas and is the only major brand of organic formula that is sweetened with cane sugar, or sucrose, which is much sweeter than sugars used in other formulas.

Dr. Benjamin Caballero, director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and an expert in risk factors for childhood obesity, said,

“I would be very concerned about this as a pediatrician. The issue is that sweet tastes tend to encourage consumption of excessive amounts."

Dr. Caballero was further cited as saying evidence shows that babies and children will always show a preference for the sweetest food available, and they will eat more of it than they would of less-sweet food, adding,

“This is how breakfast cereal manufacturers compete."

Organic formula, with sales of about $20 million annually, makes up only a sliver of the $2.5 billion formula market, according to A.C. Nielsen, the market research company. Similac Organic, analysts say, is largely responsible for the nearly tenfold growth in sales of organic formula from 2005 to 2007.

All infant formulas contain added sugars, which babies need to digest the proteins in cow’s milk or soy. Other organic formulas, like Earth’s Best and Parent’s Choice, use organic lactose as the added sugar. Organic lactose must be extracted from organic milk, the global supplies of which have been severely stretched in the last three years, driving up the price of the lactose.

Dr. Jatinder Bhatia, a member of the nutrition committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said,

"The parents in my practice who would use organic formula are the same parents who would be worried about giving sweets to their babies. That organic formula would be sweeter might not be a health risk, but it certainly isn’t what the parents have in mind.”

Dr. Gary K. Beauchamp, director of the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, a nonprofit research institute, said,

“The entire enterprise of formula is the attempt is to make it as close as possible to human milk. Making sweeter formula so that babies like it more seems to me contrary to the ethos of organic food, as a doctor and as a grandfather.”