Yes, you're right... toxic, organic baby formula is a bit of an oxymoron. However, it appears that the term "organic" is not enough to ensure that your baby's formula has not been exposed to chemicals.This article highlights two ways formula-feeding parents can reduce this exposure and makes product recommendations to support healthy baby feeding.
In 2006 organic infant formula companies began adding DHA and ARA omega fatty acids to their products in order to give formula-fed babies more of the nutrients found in breast milk. That's the good news.
However, in some cases the oils are extracted from non-toxic algae and soil fungus using chemicals such as hexane, acid and bleach.
Hexane, is a volatile liquid found in glue and gasoline. When inhaled in high volumes it can cause nausea, euphoria, headaches and nerve damage. You can read more about the hexane process and formula supplementation by downloading a report at the Cornucopia Institute.
Since there are two sides to every story, we contacted three popular infant formula brands about this issue. Here are parts of their responses (July 23, 2008):
Another potential source of toxins in organic infant formula is the packaging. The containers used for canned infant formula (and other canned food items) can contain a Bisphenol-A (BPA)-based epoxy resin.
Excessive exposure to BPA can cause altered hormone levels in babies and even damage their reproductive systems.
According to Enviroblog.org, the levels of BPA leached into baby formula from the cans is even greater than the amounts once common in U.S. produced baby bottles. While this leaching can take place with both liquid and powdered formulas, much lower levels have been found in powdered formulas packaged in these steel cans.
You can visit Enviroblog in order to stay on top of pending US legislation on BPA and other toxins found in consumable baby products.
The same three companies were contacted about BPA in their packaging (July 23,2008). Here are the responses:
We have recently switched from the composite cans (partially paperboard) to the steel cans. Rest assured that neither can contains BPA. Baby's Only Organic® formula steel canisters and re-closeable plastic lids are uncoated and do not contain bisphenol-A.
However, the can's "easy-open" metal top contains an epoxy-based interior coating that may contain trace amounts of unreacted bisphenol-A. It is highly unlikely that any detectable amount of bisphenol-A would migrate from the easy-open top into Baby's Only Organic® formulas.
This is especially true considering there is minimal contact between the powder and the easy-open top during processing and distribution. Once the formula is opened, the easy-open metal top is discarded. The steel canisters, plastic lids and easy-open metal tops are all recyclable.
We are currently working with our supplier in asking them that when a BPA free easy open lid is available to contact us so that we may incorporate them into our packaging. To date, they have told us there is nothing available in the marketplace.
Every parent's desire is to provide sound baby nutrition without chemicals that could comprise their baby's health. Ask questions, prioritize the issues for your baby, and consult your pediatrician if necessary to make an informed choice.
Do you want more tips, special offers, and discounts? Sign up for FREE Organic Baby Club updates today!
Would you like to learn more about these and other brands of organic baby formula? Check out the profiles and parent reviews of organic formulas:
How to Choose Organic Baby Formula
Baby Feeding Products Guide
10 Ways Breastfeeding Benefits Your Baby
10 Breastfeeding Benefits for Mama
Breastfeeding Tips For More Confidence
Grocery Shopping for Organic Baby Food
Cost Saving Tips for Organic Baby Food
Why Organic Baby Food Is Better
Making Organic Baby Food: Getting Started
Starting Solids Requires Preparation and Patience
A Sound Breastfeeding Diet for You and Your Organic Baby
Flavorful Organic Baby Food Recipes
Are Baby Vitamins Necessary?
Five Tips For Choosing Vitamins for Toddlers
Organic Juice: Four Tips for Serving Your Baby