Similac worries

09/26/2010 12:00 PM

12/03/2010 11:27 AM

Q. I feed my 4-week-old son Similac Advance formula. He has been very fussy and gassy. Could this be related to the recent Similac recall?

Last week, Abbott Laboratories Inc. recalled about 5 million units of the company’s Similac infant formula because beetles were found in a production area of the company’s Sturgis Michigan plant.

The recall involved some of the company’s best selling powdered infant formulas. (Liquid and specialty formulas were not involved.)

In an FDA statement issued last week, the agency said: “While the formula containing these beetles poses no immediate risk, there is a possibility that infants who consume formula containing the beetles or their larvae could experience symptoms of gastrointestinal discomfort and refusal to eat as a result of insect parts irritating the gastrointestinal tract.”

Needless to say, parents are worried.

I would like to point out a few things that may help put some of your fears to rest.

First, it is important to note that the recall was because of the presence of beetles in the production area. To date, there have been no reported cases of beetle parts or larvae being found in the formula itself; therefore, the recall is more of a precautionary measure.

Second, babies tend to be fussy and gassy in the first few months of life, so it would be difficult to link these symptoms to the formula. In your particular case, if the fussiness and gas are related to ingesting contaminated formula then these symptoms should resolve within a few days of switching to a non-recalled formula. Beetles and their larvae cannot live inside the human digestive tract and would be excreted in the stool.

Parents who have purchased Similac formula should visit or call the company’s hotline at 800-986-8850 for more information including the affected lot numbers and refund information.

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