Even though doctors say that breastfeeding is best, not everyone can breastfeed for a variety of important reasons. The option of giving a baby formula should be safe, but often times the claims that formula companies make can be confusing or even downright misleading. With DHA or without? Will one really help my baby’s vision? Or their growth? Is one more like breastmilk than others? These infant formula cans should be easier to understand!
I experienced this firsthand when I was pregnant with my son and formula companies started sending me free samples, straight to my doorstep. Even though I was planning on breastfeeding, I started researching the various kinds of formula that were being sent to me because I wanted to be prepared in case I didn't meet my breastfeeding goals.
But it was really hard to figure out from the formula labels what was in the can and if it’d actually be good for my baby.
To protect caregivers and babies from misleading labels and advertising, the Food and Drug Administration is considering stronger oversight and providing guidance requiring evidence based and scientific support to back up assertions made on its labels.
Not having to decipher misleading advertising will be a welcome treat for new parents!
MomsRising members submitted comments to the FDA during their open comment period urging the FDA to provide strong oversight of infant formula marketing. They asked the FDA:
- To ensure that all claims on formula labels are based on scientific data gathered through clinical trials and independent studies.
- That the findings and any conflicts of interests are available for review.
- To limit its comparisons to breastmilk except as it relates to providing a nutritious supplement for babies.
Breastmilk and formula are unique in that they are the first sources of nutrition we offer our babies. We all want to get our kids off on the right start, and confusing, misleading advertisements make that harder for new parents then it should be. The FDA is in the position to help ensure that the companies we trust to provide these first offerings are able to backup their marketing claims.