|February 19, 2014|
Previously published on February 13, 2014
New Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rules will require companies producing infant formula to strengthen "their quality control procedures and reporting requirements." Although many firms already meet those requirements, the rule "will give the agency more control over enforcing them," according to the New York Times.
More specifically, the FDA now will have rules spelled out which will ensure formula manufacturers test their products for salmonella and other pathogens before distribution. The rules also mandate formula companies to prove to the FDA that they have added specific nutrients such as proteins, vitamins and minerals to their products. The rule will ensure that infant formula contains all federally required nutrients by setting high quality standards since nutritional deficiencies during this critical time of development may leave a significant and lasting impact on a child's health and wellbeing.
Exclusive breast feeding is the best source of nutrition for infants for the first 6 months of age, yet the FDA reports that by three months of age, two thirds of U.S. infants are drinking formula for some or all of their nutritional needs. However, studies show that breastfeeding rates in the United States are rising. Be sure to choose formula sold in liquid form, especially when feeding a newborn or infant. The liquid formulations of infant formula are made to be sterile, thus they should not transmit infection causing bacteria. When mixing a powdered formula use water hot enough to kill germs, about 158 degrees fahrenheit, allow to cool before serving to baby. Safely storing unused formula also reduces the risk of bacteria, such as keeping scoops clean, replacing the lid as soon as possible and using formula within two hours.