Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Aftermath of the Similac Recall

By now you've heard that Abbott, maker of Similac infant formula, has recalled about 5 million cans of its powdered infant formula because of the possibility that there could be beetle parts in the formula, after they were found at a production plant in Michigan.

But what will result from this recall? So far, Similac formula ads have been removed from all of the major websites they were sponsoring, from Babble to People's Celebrity Baby Blog. I don't know if Similac has pulled the ads, or if the websites have now refused to run them.

In addition, a mother in New Orleans has filed a class action lawsuit against Similac and Sam's Club, stating that Abbott marketed their product as containing ingredients that were safe for consumption by infants. She's even set up a Facebook fan page to recruit other families to join the suit. Plaintiff Kathleen Brandner is represented by her husband Michael in the lawsuit.

And it just keeps getting more interestinger, with Iowa Senator Tom Harkin sending a letter to Abbott questioning why they waited until September 23 to announce the recall when they discovered the contamination on September 16. Senator Harkin also questions if Abbott knew that the FDA had been receiving complaints about the formula containing bug parts before the recall. Similac had initially stated that the FDA had not required them to recall the formula and that it was a precautionary measure.

There is another question that still hasn't been answered, like why Similac did not just publish the affected lot numbers, instead requiring scared parents to frantically call a 1800 number and log onto a website that kept crashing before they could find out whether their can of formula was safe to feed their babies.

So what do you think the outcome of this will be? A victory in the lawsuit or some sort of settlement? More oversight by the FDA and FTC of the marketing and production of formula? And the biggie....will more women decide to try to breastfeed now that they have experienced a formula recall?

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