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Similac manufacturer announces it will offer non-GMO baby formula

Baby formula

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(NaturalNews) Global health care company Abbott has announced that it will soon be offering a GMO-free version of its popular Similac baby formula after receiving input from parents all over the U.S.

The company said a GMO-free version of its Similac Advance product, a best-seller, would hit the shelves of Target retail stores by the end of May, The New York Times reported. Abbott officials also said that other GMO-free formulas might eventually be offered as well, depending on sales of the new version of Similac Advance.

Abbott joins a growing number of firms that are offering popular products without genetically modified organisms and ingredients. Consumer demand for such products has been growing steadily, thanks in large part to alternative media sites like Natural News that regularly report on the benefits of organic foods and the dangers of GMO crops.

Parents said they wanted it

Demand has been rising despite a vast, concerted and expensive propaganda effort by the biotech industry (think Monsanto and Syngenta) as well as some corporate food interest groups to quash anti-GMO activism and education programs.

"We listen to moms and dads, and they've told us they want a non-G.M.O. option," Chris Calamari, general manager of Abbott's pediatric nutrition business, told the Times. "We want to make sure we meet the desires of parents."

A recently released online study of 1,829 adults selected by Fluent, a consumer marketing and advertising firm, found that almost one in five said they wanted non-GMO products if and when they could find them.

"The preference for non-GMO products in particular is more pronounced amongst shoppers with higher household incomes and with shoppers based in the Northeast," Fluent's Matt Conlin told the Times.

The paper further reported:

Most mainstream baby formula is made from various corn and soy derivatives, and more than 90 percent of those crops in America are grown from genetically altered seeds.

Over the last few years, consumers have petitioned Abbott and other big makers of infant formula to remove genetically altered ingredients.

That particular movement, Calamari noted, was not related to the decision to offer non-GMO Similac Advance, however. He said that Abbott's own research had led to the decision.

"Over one-third of consumers say it would have appeal to them and give them peace of mind," he said.

Popularity of non-GMO, organic rising

According to the Sustainable Pulse web site, anti-GMO organizations are praising Abbott's decision. Green America, a national nonprofit organization working to create a green economy, called the decision an "important advance for infant health."

"Abbott's announcement that they are removing genetically engineered ingredients from a version of Similac Advance, followed by a non-GMO version of Similac Sensitive, is an important step forward for the company and an important advance for infant health," said the group in a statement. "Parents are rightly concerned about the presence of GMOs in infant formula, and tens of thousands of parents took action with GMO Inside to ask Abbott to remove GMOs.

"We urge Abbott to make all of its infant formula non-GMO, and call on its competitors to do the same," Green America said.

The New York Times further reported that consumer interest in health improvements via better nutrition and food choices is growing steadily. This is evidenced by decisions like the one Abbott just made, the recent decision by restaurant chain Chipotle Mexican Grill to begin using all non-GMO products, and the meteoric rise in sales of organic foods.

Regarding Abbott, the company already offers GMO-free formula, Similac Organic. By law, all organic products must be free of genetically modified ingredients, but the company said its research found that parents also wanted a GMO-free product for their children.

The original Similac Advance was designed to be more similar to breast milk than even Similac Organic, the Times reported.





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