Infant Formula Industry Reassures Parents that Infant Formulas Meet Highest Safety Standards of Any Food Product on Market

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The International Formula Council (IFC)*, testifying today along with other interested parties at the FDA Science Board meeting, expressed the infant formula industry's support of science-based efforts to continually ensure that infant formulas meet the highest safety standards of any food product on the market.

The International Formula Council (IFC)*, testifying today along with other interested parties at the FDA Science Board meeting, expressed the infant formula industry's support of science-based efforts to continually ensure that infant formulas meet the highest safety standards of any food product on the market.

"The primary focus of the International Formula Council and its member companies is and will always remain the health and welfare of infants and children around the world," stated Mardi Mountford, executive vice president of IFC. "We urge all who will speak about this issue to put parents and their children first by responsibly clarifying potential risks associated with BPA and providing appropriate and meaningful guidance."

"The infant formula industry takes all safety issues very seriously, and we support science-based efforts to continue to produce infant formula products of the highest possible quality. When new information becomes available on substances like Bisphenol A, we support bringing that information forward through a sound regulatory process of scientific peer review and evaluation as the basis for regulations," stated Mountford in her verbal testimony at the FDA Science Board meeting in Washington D.C.

A subcommittee of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Science Board recently reviewed the FDA's safety assessment for Bisphenol A (BPA). The Subcommittee made recommendations for the Science Board to consider, as part of the standard multi-step scientific review process for establishing a sound risk assessment based on well-defined criteria.

In her testimony, Mountford emphasized IFC member companies continually evaluate food packaging and scientific research to guarantee product safety and quality, with the goal of ensuring the health and well-being of infants. "Because questions about the use of BPA have been raised, we have continued to work with our suppliers to identify opportunities for packaging without BPA. There are no quick solutions, and, in the interest of safety and consumer confidence any new alternatives need to be carefully assessed to assure the highest possible standards of quality. As soon as a safe and viable alternative is identified by the chemical and container industries, we stand ready to bring those new containers to market, once they have been approved for use by the FDA," she stated.

IFC also cited the October 28, 2008 press release by FDA, quoting Acting Surgeon General, Rear Admiral Steven K. Galson, M.D., M.P.H., who stated, "The most important thing parents can do for their babies is ensure that they receive adequate nutrition. While the best source of nutrition for babies is the mother's breast milk, infant formula remains the recommended alternative when breast milk is not an option."

IFC's testimony is available at http://www.infantformula.org.

*The International Formula Council is an association of manufacturers and marketers of formulated nutrition products, e.g., infant formulas and adult nutritionals, whose members are based predominantly in North America. IFC members are: Abbott Nutrition; Mead Johnson Nutritionals; Nestlé Infant Nutrition; and Wyeth Nutrition.

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