Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Saving Money on Baby Formula

Most people that know me know that I advocate both breastfeeding and cloth diapering.  Those aren't only good for your baby and the environment, but they are both great ways to save money.  However, sometimes a mother can't do one or both of those.  These mothers get misled into thinking they have to buy the most expensive diapers and formula, because the expensive must be the "best".

I was excited to get a copy of Consumer Reports Best Baby Products recently. It was full of great information and tips for smart shopping.  I also learned a lot about different types of baby formula. 

Did you know that in April of 2009, PBM Products, LLC, who manufactures store brand baby formula, filed a suit against Mead Johnson because of claims that store brand formulas were less nutritious than its Enfamil LIPIL Infant Formula?  PBM claimed that Mead Johnson had "engaged in false and misleading campaigns against its store brand products".  PBM won the suit of around $13 million dollars.  It shocked me that this was the company's third successful suit against Mead Johnson.

From the PMB Product website:

PBM successfully argued that these advertisements were false and misleading especially since PBM store- brand infant formulas have the same nutrients at the same levels as Enfamil.  PBM infant formulas are formulated to contain DHA and ARA, and are sourced from the same supplier in amounts which equal or exceed the DHA and ARA in Mead Johnson’s Enfamil LIPIL®. 

 It is a fact that all U.S. infant formulas have to meet the same standards of the FDA.

All of PBM’s formulas, and for that matter all of U.S. infant formulas, are subject to the exacting standards of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), pursuant to the Infant Formula Act of 1980.  This legislation vested FDA with the authority to ensure that all infant formula products sold in the United States provide the necessary levels of identified nutrients required for the growth of healthy babies. For more information, visit this FDA link.

Don't be fooled by companies who use a flashy campaign or have lots of extra money to spend advertising.  They only have that extra money because you're paying so much for their formula!  Check out the ingredients and options that are available to you, but remember that the label design or cost is not giving you a healthy child.  Most importantly, speak with your pediatrician, who can advise you further on the best choice for your baby.

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