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Aluminium in infant formula

(11 Posts)
LadyMedea Thu 10-Oct-13 23:21:19

I'm pregnant with my first child and intending to breast feed but just in case it doesn't 100% work out I'm also checking out formula feeding.

this article in the guardian today really shocked me. This group of scientists are disputing the FSA's conclusion that aluminium levels in infant formula are safe.

The full academic article is available on open access here and shows the full results of their study. It really horrifies me that the third highest levels of aluminium were found in the HIPP organic first infant powdered milk... Which was going to be my first choice.

Just thought I'd share for information!

LAF22 Sat 12-Oct-13 09:37:53

Thank you for sharing link to study - will have a full read after a cup of coffee smile

I read same article yesterday in The Guardian and went online this morning to search for any panicked 'fallout' and found surprisingly little! Can only presume this is because it was reported very responsibly in The Guardian rather than splashed sensationally across the front page of the Daily Mail.

My dd is almost 9mo and after repeated bouts of mastitis (on my part) has been fed exclusively on Aptamil First since 2mo followed by Aptamil Follow On from 6mo. I thought I was giving her the 'best' (2nd to b.feeding), and am horrified to hear I could have been exposing her to potentially dangerous levels of aluminium.

I am now imagining all sorts - a cover up by the FSA, only to be exposed in thirty years when adults fed on formula as babies start presenting with horrible illnesses etc etc...

Anyone else thinking of swapping to one of the formulas with lower levels of aluminium as a result of this study?

mrsmartin1984 Sat 12-Oct-13 10:39:44

This really is the tip of the iceburg. It's shocking that the government don't do anything. Clearly worrying about mothers feeling guilty is more important then the health and wellbeing of most of the babies in this country.

tiktok Sat 12-Oct-13 14:35:11

The high levels of aluminum in soya formula has been well-known for a long time and is one of the reasons babies should only be on soya formula if there is no alternative.

It's notable the highest concentrations were seen in toddler milks and growing up milks - fortunately, these products are simply unnecessary so stopping using them will not cause any problems.

LAF22, interesting you opted for Aptamil believing it to be the best formula - do you mind me asking you what made you think that?

Arrtttiiieee Sat 12-Oct-13 14:48:57

"This really is the tip of the iceberg"

Why? How?

Bubbles1066 Sat 12-Oct-13 16:13:10

Interesting. It appears that the highest concentration is in follow on and growing up milks so it appears if FF the best thing to do is keep with first milk then switch to cows milk at 12 months. I wonder why the specialist milks are much higher too, manufacturing reasons maybe? As a former FF'er myself this doesn't bother me greatly though but I do think the wide spread use of metallic materials in packaging is something to keep in mind when selecting food.

mrsmartin1984 Sat 12-Oct-13 18:16:11

Arrtttiiieee where do you want me to begin? Wrong levels of vitamins in formula. Stupidly high levels of iron that isn't absorbed. The fact that they get the fats and protein from wherever the cheapest source is and not mention it on the carton (so if your child as allergies their screwed). No enzymes, antibodies or growth hormones.

LAF22 Sat 12-Oct-13 20:53:51

tiktok - when born my dd had to spend a few weeks in ICU, where I was tube feeding her my expressed milk. One day my hard earned milk was left out of the fridge by mistake and went off, and I was forced to give her formula. As I had intended to b.feed exclusively I had not researched formula milks at all and so asked the ICU nurses which was best, and they said Aptamil. When, after two months, I was forced to stop giving dd my milk, I automatically went for Aptamil because I had been told by professionals it was the best and dd had had it before with no ill affects.

I had been pleased with my choice, up until now! I don't really go in for conspiracy theories as I think in this country bodies like the FSA are pretty trustworthy all-in-all. I am just concerned that this study (and the one before it?) has possibly revealed a previously unknown danger to my child that I could be avoiding/reducing simply by switching brands.

I changed to the Follow On at 6 mnths quite possibly because I believed the advertising that it had different 'stuff' in it that my dd needs as she gets older...perhaps I'm wrong about that....?

Thinking of changing to HiPP Follow On and hoping my dd doesn't now prove addicted to Aptamil...

tiktok Sat 12-Oct-13 23:28:22

Aha....exactly what I thought, LAF...HCPs have told you it was better.

Aptamil is no better than any other formula but it is heavily marketed to HCPs and to more affluent mothers and to mothers who start off breastfeeding.

There's a good overview of formulas and why they are almost identical (they have to be - international law ('Codex') decrees the nutritional content and UK law has strict parameters, too) -‎ is a pdf from the Caroline Walker Trust.

I think it's very wrong to mislead mothers and to promote one brand above another on these spurious grounds sad

tiktok Sat 12-Oct-13 23:30:49

Yep - you're wrong about follow on too! But dont blame yourself - everyone falls for marketing tricks.

First formula is fine for all ages.

Follow on is less modified milk - casein dominant instead of whey dominant - and it has extra iron in it, too much for some babies.

helsunger Fri 09-May-14 20:06:55

This has been playing on my mind for several months and I contacted the lead scientist carrying out the research. He supported my proposal to petition the Government to legislate to reduce aluminium levels in formula. Anyone who would like to sign the petition please go to

Please circulate the link widely to anyone else who would be interested in signing. We need 30,000 signatures in three months before the Govt. will discuss the petition!

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