The Horrors of Formula Feeding


Let me start by saying I am not against formula feeding. My first child was formula fed after 2 months of pumped breast milk. Having said that, the amount of formula recalls in the past several years is more than alarming, it’s downright horrifying. 

The Lactivist says: 

“Pick up a can of formula and read the ingredients to see that it is quite inferior to breastmilk. It is mainly made up of sugar and oils and a protein such as cow’s milk, soy or whey. It does not contain antibodies, digestive enzymes, or immunoglobulin. Babies that are fed formula are 14 times more likely to be hospitalized in their first year. These babies are more prone to respiratory illnesses, ear infections and diarrhea. Babies that are fed formula instead of breastmilk miss out on the intense physical bond that allows them to develop a sense of trust in the world. Giving your baby formula is not the same as breastfeeding. Formula is not an equal substitute for breastmilk.”

The fact that breastfeeding is much better than formula feeding is old news. But besides the numerous benefits of breast milk, what’s even more concerning is the dangerous nature of infant formula. The produce that you trust to nourish and feed your baby could actually do much more harm than good, resulting in allergies, illness, and even death. Here’s why: 

Powdered infant formula is not sterile. Unlike bottled, ready-to-serve liquid formulas, powdered formula has not been heated, which makes it a breeding ground for bacteria. And bacteria is what makes your baby sick! According to, infant formula is not even regulated by the FDA. While the FDA monitors the contents of infant formula, they do not check, test, or regulate the formula before it hits shelves. 

As of 2008, several international government agencies considered formula feeding to be so risky that UNICEF even asked donors to stop sending canned infant formula to people living in disaster areas. Their reasoning? Formula could potentially lead to even more deaths in the area. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) outlines 14 risks every mother is taking by formula feeding her infant. The following is a list of the risks of formula feeding: 

  • Higher risk of lung infections
  • Risk of lower intelligence
  • Higher risk of environmental poisoning
  • Higher risk of ear infections
  • Risk of infection from contaminated formula
  • Higher risk of chronic diseases
  • Higher risk of allergy
  • Higher risk of asthma
  • Higher risk of obesity 
  • Higher risk of childhood cancers
  • Risk of diarrhea
  • Risk of heart disease
  • Higher risk of death from diseases
  • Higher risk of diabetes

In addition to the risks that every mother faces when choosing to give her infant normal formula, there is also the additional risk of contamination. In the past several years, infant formula has been recalled many times due to chemical contamination of the products. Here are some of the things that infant formula has been contaminated with recently: 

  • Salmonella
  • Beetles
  • Beetle larvae
  • Arsenic
  • Cyanide
  • Aluminum
  • BPA
  • Veterinary Drugs
  • Industrial Chemicals

The list goes on. What does the FDA have to say about this? 

“We think it’s safe,” Dr. Rauch says. “But the bottom line is that we don’t really know…” 

“…about 90 percent of all infant formulas produced in the U.S. are made by the three companies whose products tested positive for contaminants.”

I don’t know about you, but I think that’s pretty darned scary. 


2 responses »

  1. It’s disgusting. I don’t know why more people don’t bother to look into this kind of stuff. Most people I know that formula feed, have NO idea of this stuff and when people talk about it, they turn a blind eye and let it go in one ear and out the other and refuse to believe anything like this would be on the shelf if it was dangerous.

    • Unfortunately, there are a LOT of things on the shelf that are dangerous. Just look at alcohol and cigarettes… how recently was it that “everyone” smoked and it was considered healthy? Parenting is no different. The government approves the sale of a lot of unsafe products, which is why there are always so many recalls -they wouldn’t have been there in the first place if the government properly monitored product safety BEFORE approval. Formula is no different.

      If you’re set on feeding your baby formula, or you HAVE to formula feed, isn’t it worth the extra effort to at least make it yourself? At least that way you can regulate what goes into your baby’s food, rather than being stricken with fear when you hear of yet ANOTHER formula recall.

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