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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Botulism spores found in 7 of 9 samples of Infant Formula

Another scary study on the topic of tainted Infant Formula, "Presence of Soil-Dwelling Clostridia in Commercial Powdered Infant Formulas," will appear in the March 2010 Journal of Pediatrics.

Researchers studies samples from 30 infants in California that were infected with Botulism, and took samples from market purchased powdered infant formula.  7 of 9 of the samples of formula were shown to contain multiple strains of Botulism.

Because spores were linked to infant formula that caused botulism in an infant in the UK, researchers tested formula from sick US babies and store shelves and found disturbing results.
Researchers studied formula obtained from the families of nineteen babies in California who had been diagnosed with botulism.  They also purchased containers of powdered infant formulas from other sources.
Five of the 30 samples from the sick infants contained clostridial botulinium spores. Spores were also found in 7 of 9 market-purchased formula samples.  Multiple types of soil-dwelling strains of botulinum were identified.
Many types of botulinum spores are commonly found in dust and soil worldwide.  However, the strain Clostridium botulinum is particularly harmful to infants and can cause severe illness.  This strain can colonize in the intestine and produce neurotoxins leading to paralysis, a need for ventilation and even death.
Milder symptoms of botulism include constipation, a weak cry, lethargy and bulbar palsies.
 What is scarier is the fact that researchers are now looking at the link between Botulism poisoning and SIDs.

Botulism is also suspected to be linked to some infant deaths that are officially classified as SIDS.
The University of Minnesota Extension Service reports:
Because breathing is affected in the most severe stage of botulism-induced paralysis, researchers suspect a link between infant botulism and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), also known as crib death. One study done 15 years ago showed that about 5 percent of children in California whose deaths were attributed to SIDS actually had died from infant botulism. Because of the difficulty of conducting such studies, the link between SIDS and infant botulism remains poorly understood.

Other harmful pathogens have been found in US formula in the past, as well.  In 2001, a baby in Tennessee died and 10 other premature babies were sickened by formula contaminated by the bacteria Enterobacter sakazakii, which led to a recall.  Another recall was issued related to the bacteria in 2002, in which 1.5 million cans of formula were recalled.  This bacteria, which causes Cronobacter Infection, has sickened many US babies over the years.  The Enterobacter Sakazakii Watch writes "Powdered infant formula (PIF), which is not sterile, has been implicated repeatedly as a vehicle of Cronobacter infection."
The FDA stresses that at-risk infants such as premature babies should not be fed powdered infant formula because of the risks of these contaminants.  You can read more about the FDA's concerns with powdered formula here.
 So.... the FDA is recommending that "at risk" infants and premature babies should not be fed powdered infant formula.  Yet I have never once read a warning on a powdered formula label, nor seen any sort of warnings in their advertising campaigns.  Further, EVERY formula fed baby is "At Risk"!!  Multiple studies have shown that all babies that are not exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months are at a much higher risk of Gastrointestinal infections/problems, asthma, ear infections, cancer, and death, to name but a few!!!

See INFACT Canada's "Fourteen Risks of Formula Feeding" for further information.

 So we have to wonder why Doctors and hospitals and various major medical organizations are not taking a stronger stance to stop the wide spread use of infant formula.  We know the Dangers- the information is there for anyone to read- yet only a small percentage of babies born in Canada and the US are exclusively breastfed as per the recommendations of WHO and the Canadian and US paediatric societies.

Could this be because " Money Talks"?!

Infant Formula manufacturers are notorious in their flagrant disregard of the WHO International Code of Marketing Breastmilk Substitutes, and Governments are famous for ignoring these breaches of ethics, and accepting funding from these companies.

So where does this leave the innocent babies that are born in our society?  Unprotected and ignored.  Because the medical machine and the government would rather take the blood money from dirty corporations than put the health and safety of their smallest citizens first. 

HERE to read the original article