Challenges and Changes in Infant Formula Usage: Navigating Trust, Safety, and Healthcare for Babies Worldwide


Across the world, millions of people use infant formula as a way to support and nurture their babies. But trust in the product is waning after a series of highly-publicised scandals, so much so, that the job of a wet nurse (a woman who breastfeeds other women’s babies for a fee, for as much as US$1,000 a week) is coming back into fashion.

But formula is still a popular choice for many parents and governments are working hard to ensure that the industry is safe.


Babies healthcare is safeguarded across the planet

Earlier this year in Saudi Arabia, the Health Ministry fined an unnamed pharmaceutical company US$67,000 for breaking its Breast Milk Substitutes (BMS) code. At the end of World Breastfeeding Week (August 1st – 7th), Minister Fahd al-Jalajel found that the company in question was breaking the law, by sending representatives into hospitals and handing out brochures for infant milk formula.

Following the Baby Formula scandal in 2008, China has implemented strict new rules surrounding the manufacturing and sale of the product. Now infant formula makers must invest to test, certify and re-register their products for sale in China, before any new marketing campaigns. With China’s birth rate the lowest in its history, the Chinese government is keen to ensure that new parents trust infant formula.


Baby formula factories face quality control in US

Three companies have been warned by the US food and drug regulator about the importance of food manufacturing safety standards.

Reckitt, known for Durex, Dettol, Nurofen, Strepsils, Gaviscon and Vanish, as well as ByHeart which launched its Whole Nutrition Infant Formula in March 2022 and Perrigo, which was founded in 1887, were all reminded about quality control surrounding baby formula. 

145,000 ProSobee infant formula cans were recalled by Reckitt, due to a risk of cross-contamination with the bacteria Cronobacter sakazakii. Contact can cause sepsis and meningitis. 

The FDA wrote to Reckitt to inform them that it discovered ‘significant’ violations in quality control at two of Reckitt’s manufacturing plants.

“Upon receiving notification of this result, you failed to conduct an independent root cause analysis or investigation and you did not evaluate whether other products may have been impacted by this contamination event.”

“[We are] committed to identifying and acting on issues early to prevent any firms from reaching the level of concern,” said Donald Prater, acting director of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.


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Other magazines that may be of interest – Manufacturing Magazine.


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