The International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation would like to correct media reports raising concerns about infant formula containing ingredients produced using biotechnology (also referred to as “genetically engineered” ingredients or “GMOs”):
Foods produced using biotechnology have been consumed widely for nearly 20 years, with no evidence of any harm to health found, including in pregnant women and children. In addition, scientific research has shown foods produced through biotechnology to be as safe and healthful as their counterparts.
“In addition to breastfeeding, infant formula provides a safe and important source of nutrients for growing infants and newborns,” said Marianne Smith Edge, MS, RD, LD, FADA, IFIC Foundation. “The consequences of this fearmongering – including potentially encouraging moms to seek out unsafe alternatives such as homemade formula – are significant and introduce nutrition and food safety concerns that, unlike conventional infant formula or breastfeeding, could be very harmful to babies’ health.”
“As a pediatrician and someone who takes care of children and often is speaking with moms who are pregnant, I feel that these foods are completely safe for children. I personally have reviewed the safety data and the evidence that’s put together when these foods are about to be put into the general marketplace, and I find that these foods are completely safe. There’s no evidence that foods produced using biotechnology pose any risk to children or pregnant mothers.” – Ronald Kleinman, MD, pediatrician and physician in chief at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children (From the IFIC Foundation videos, “Physicians Offer Expert Advice on Food Biotechnology”)
Foods produced through biotechnology have been the subject of hundreds of studies that have demonstrated their safety. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are involved in the regulation of foods produced through biotechnology to ensure their safety, including human health and the health of the environment.
“This latest story is nothing but a ploy designed to scare innocent moms – who are trying to do their best for their children – into believing they are putting them in harm’s way,” said David Schmidt, former President & CEO of the IFIC Foundation. “These accusations are baseless from a scientific perspective and should not be given any credibility. Consumers can and should feel safe consuming foods produced using biotechnology currently benefitting the food supply.”
For more information about food biotechnology and infant formula, visit the following IFIC Foundation resources: