Baby formula with genetically modified material condemned by Mums

After controversies regarding the use of genetically modified material in the infant formula S-26, the manufacturer is defending it as activists are storming supermarkets in Melbourne and Sydney.

According to Wyeth Nutrition, which produces S-26, the soy product may contain traces of GM material but it is well below the Australian food standards level. They have released a statement saying, “S-26 soy is a safe product and meets all the regulatory requirements…Soy by nature of it being a crop, it is possible that there is some non-GMO (genetically modified organisms) containing ingredients even though the suppliers develop the product and cultivate the product such that it is non-GMO.” Wyeth Nutrition is a part of the global Pfizer group also added, “It is important to note that trace amounts of GMO do not present a health or safety threat to infants.” Wyeth Nutrition said it had requested a copy of the test results and welcomed the chance to work with Greenpeace and the relevant authorities to address the matter.

On the other hand activists and mothers are staging supermarket sit-ins in an effort to force a national recall of the product.

This action was taken after two tests were commissioned by Greenpeace Australia Pacific that allegedly revealed trace elements of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), which are not labeled on the product. The independent tests were conducted in Germany and the US. Results showed up to 0.2 per cent of GM soy and corn in the formula. Under Australian law, products can contain up to 1 per cent of genetically modified material, provided it is unintentional, without requiring it to be labeled as containing GMO.

However Greenpeace disagrees that it was unintentional and feels they were deliberately “kept in dark.” Greenpeace CEO Linda Selvey said, “These new inventions have not undergone any of the rigorous testing necessary to establish their risk profile and safety for adults, let alone babies…Australian parents have the right to know what they are feeding their kids and how safe it is.” S-26 Soy is given to babies up to one-year-old who are lactose intolerant or who are on a vegetarian diet. There are no long term studies to show its ill effects.

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.

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