One of the most popular brands for formulas. Some of us feed it to our new born babies.
Throughout my pregnancy I received not only advice from EVERYONE, but also some samples in the mail. Similac was one of the big companies that sent me formula samples.
Being so passionate about GMOs I am aware that most baby formulas on the shelves are LADEN with GMOs. It's no surprise that the biggest companies, Similac (Abott Laboratories), Enfamil (Mead Johnson Nutrition), Gerber (Nestle) are at the top of the list for companies not only full of genetically modified ingredients but also some of the biggest lobbyist to ban or restrict GMO labelling.
When I looked at the generous sample Similac sent me, I was surprised it said NON-GMO on the front.
Even though I knew I would NEVER give this "NON-GMO" formula to my child (we'll get into why later), I was pleased to see that they were becoming aware enough to make strides in the right direction.
Upon a closer look, I realize there's some fine print above the NON-GMO and an asterisk.
What this means is that only the ingredients with the asterisk are not genetically modified.
"Ok," I think to myself. At least they're trying. So I turn around the formula to read the ingredients.
Look for yourself:
What do you see?
Or what don't you see. I don't see ONE ASTERISK. I went over it again and again and again.
So what does this mean? Well it means that although it says"NON-GMO" on the front, the ingredients are, in fact, genetically modified.
I found this pretty outrageous. Actually angering. They're not only being blatantly dishonest, they're taking advantage of mothers everywhere who are trying to do the right thing.
How could they do this?
It says NON-GMO but nothing about it is not genetically modified.
We know genetically modified ingredients are bad for countless reasons. They disrupt the gut flora, they poke holes in the digestive tract, are linked to hormone disruption, infertility, birth defects, and the list goes on. We also know that children's and babies bodies are more susceptible to the damaging effects of anything harmful, simply because of their sheer small size. Additionally, their tiny bodies are still developing.
Aside from the GMOs in this formula, the remainder of the ingredients are comprised of sugars, processed milk (from another species) "ingredients" and syntheticvitamins. The first few ingredients are simply sugar in a few different forms; corn syrup, sugar and oligosaccharides. If you've attended any of my classes, you know I am not a proponent of synthetic anything. When purchasing vitamins or prenatals, always look for ones that are WHOLE FOOD BASED for easiest and optimal absorption.
So now what?
What if for some reason you need or want to supplement with formula?
Well, first of all, I recommend that EVERY mother or mother-to-be see a lactation consultant. If you're in the valley I would recommend Lori J. Isenstadt. The amount of information, cues and resources she gave me was absolutely priceless.
If for some reason you are still needing to supplement with formula, my second choice would be the amazing whole food recipes for babies in the bookConscious Parenting.
They are nut or seed based with added supplements including blue-green algae, spirulina, phytoplankton, and other amazing ingredients (don't worry there is a natural sweetener in the recipe). These recipes give the baby Vitamin D3, DHA/ALA, protein, omega-3s, DHA/ALAs, antimicrobials, antifungals, beta-carotene and tons of other trace minerals, phytonutrients, and vitamins. You can find all these amazing products and others (including what I've found to be the best vegan, WHOLE FOOD based Omega-3supplement) at Dr. Gabriel Cousens online store.
In Conscious Parenting Dr. Cousens and Leah Lynn discuss a study where infants were taken off breast milk and given formula and the findings where a little scary. The AGEs in the babies blood doubled. AGEs are inflammatory markers found in high amounts of Type 2 Diabetics and are associated with increased insulin resistance. I don't want to make my newborn or 6 month old baby pre-diabetic.
After exhausting those avenues I would start looking at WHAT vitamins and minerals are in the formulas (or simply ask your physician or pediatrician what your baby requires) and do your own research, find some whole food vitamins, and/or ingredients that contain those very items.
There's also donor milk. That would be my next choice. I don't know how much information they have on the donors but I know that's what I would like to know. If the woman is eating GMOs, then guess what her breast milk contains; GMOs.
If you take one thing away from this post I hope it's that we need to continue to educate each other and continue to read labels.
Never be brand loyal!
Label read, label read, and read your labels (the back, not the front).
Use resources like EWG.com and look for the NON-GMO Project Verified image.