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New infant formula safety standards set by the FDA

Breastfeeding versus formula feeding is often a controversial topic of conversation. There are numerous reasons why women choose to breastfeed and numerous reasons why other women choose to feed their children formula. Still others choose to alternate both approaches depending on the day’s circumstances. In the end, what truly matters is that formula-fed babies are given a relatively comparable level of nutrition as breastfed babies so that every woman may feel confident in making either feeding choice.

Unfortunately, many moms who are either compelled to feed their babies formula or simply choose to do so are often treated as if they are giving their child access to a dangerous product. Conflicting messages in the media and within the medical community fail to offer these moms a great deal of clarity on whether this upsetting premise actually holds any truth. Generally, formula is safe and nutritious for babies. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is finally taking steps to ensure that it is universally so.

The FDA has been studying the issue of infant formula safety for nearly 20 years. It has finally concluded that though most formula manufacturers embrace necessary safety precautions during the manufacturing process, the agency must formalize certain safety standards in order to ensure that all formula manufacturers follow critical safety precautions including testing for pathogens.

In addition to ensuring that certain safety standards are followed, the FDA is also now requiring formula manufacturers to include specific kinds of nutrients in their formulas. These new rules will help to ensure that formula-fed babies receive safe and healthy forms of nutrition and that no mother will have reason to worry that her baby is receiving significantly less nutritional benefits than a breastfed baby is.

Source: NBC News, “FDA Announces New Rules on Infant Formula Safety,” The Associated Press, Feb. 6, 2014

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