The availability of powdered infant formula has truly been a life-saving revolution. Despite the desire to do so, some women find themselves unable to produce sufficient breast milk for their babies. Some mothers die in childbirth and therefore cannot feed their children.
There are also many women who choose formula so that they can return to work or avoid the demands of breastfeeding, which is a perfectly reasonable decision for a mother to make. Whether by choice or through medical necessity, some parents require powdered formula to feed their newborn children. Adequate nutrition from any safe source is crucial for development in the earliest months of life.
Unfortunately, it is currently difficult to find formula, especially from certain brands. A recent recall is the cause of the supply chain disruption that has left parents scrambling frantically for safe formula.
The reason for the recall
Infants do not have the robust and well-developed immune systems of adults and older children. They do receive some immunity from their mothers, but they are quite susceptible to illnesses in their first months of life.
Infant formula should be a clean and healthy way for a child to receive nutrition. Unfortunately, inadequate hygiene practices at a manufacturing facility have sickened children and even resulted in death. In March 2022, issues regarding unclean facilities lead to a massive recall of three of the biggest brand names in infant formula.
Simila, Alimentum and EleCare, all manufactured in Michigan by Abbott Nutrition, were all part of an infant formula recall started with multiple infant illnesses. Bacterial infections resulting from improper sanitation at the production facility have resulted in multiple children needing medical care and at least one death related to Cronobacter sakazakii. Now, months after the initial recall, parents around the country are still desperate to find infant formula.
Families have rights when products aren’t safe
Parents should be able to trust that the companies producing formula for infants make sure that their facilities are clean and their products are safe. Those affected by the formula recall, either directly because their child consumed contaminated formula or secondarily because their child contracted an illness from a child who used contaminated formula may have legal rights.
Holding manufacturers accountable for putting out dangerous products, like recalled infant formula, can compensate families affected by those dangerous products.