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Infant formula

FDA launches soft investigation, but no recall, after infant formula linked to causing death in babies

Tuesday, January 03, 2012 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: infant formula, babies, death

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(NaturalNews) Walmart has voluntarily recalled a batch of Enfamil Newborn powdered formula cans from 3,000 US stores after the substance inside them was linked to causing death in some babies. Though the product in question, which includes 12.5-ounce cans from lot number ZP1K7G, are suspected to be the culprit, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not ordered a recall, and the product's manufacturer, Mead Johnson Nutrition, has refused to disclose whether or not formula cans from the suspected lot were distributed to any other stores besides Walmart.

The Associated Press (AP) reports that Walmart decided to pull the formula after recent newborn Avery Cornett of Lebanon, Missouri, died of a rare bacterial infection caused by Cronobacter sakazakii, which is particularly fatal in children less than one month of age. Back in November, another small child fell deathly ill after being fed a couple different types of powdered baby formula, but that child reportedly recovered.

"We decided it was best to remove the product until we learn more," said Dianna Gee, a spokeswoman from Walmart. The FDA, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Missouri Department of Health (MDH) are all reportedly still investigating the situation to identify the culprit. In the meantime, customers who purchased the suspected formula are merely being urged to return it to stores for a refund if they feel like it, and authorities are acting as if there is no real threat at this point.

To regulators, processed food is always safe, and local family-scale food is always dangerous

Compare this situation to what happened last month to Organic Pastures Dairy (OPD) in California. In case you missed that event, state regulators shut down OPD after discovering a potential, but later disproven, link between OPD raw milk products and several cases of mild E. Coli infection. Even before a single scientific test was conducted, authorities ordered a full recall of all OPD products, and demanded that the company stop selling all raw milk products indefinitely (http://www.naturalnews.com/034422_Organic_Pa...).

It was only after OPD owner Mark McAfee and his thousands of loyal customers began to aggressively challenge the unreasonable quarantine of the dairy's milk products that regulators finally backed off. But for nearly a month, regulators prevented the company from conducting its business, and treated OPD's products as contaminated until proven uncontaminated, or "guilty until proven innocent," if you will (http://www.naturalnews.com/034458_Organic_Pa...).

The potentially-tainted Enfamil product, on the other hand, is being treated as innocent until proven guilty. Children are potentially dying from this product, and yet the FDA, CDC, and other health agencies are allowing it to remain for sale. They are turning a blind eye to Mead Johnson Nutrition playing public relations games with public safety by withholding the names of stores besides Walmart that may also be carrying the product.

The comparison between these two incidents is a clear illustration of the double standard that so-called health authorities approach public safety issues. Processed, factory-scale food products are almost always assumed safe, even when all the evidence is stacked against them, while local, family-scale foods like raw milk are nearly always treated like the black plague.

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