The Food and Drug Administration is tightening requirements on formula manufacturers to ensure the safety of infant formulas. Announcing the new rules earlier this month, the agency said that the stricter requirements are a way to make certain that all manufacturers regularly test their products for salmonella and other dangerous pathogens.
Michael Taylor, a spokesperson for the FDA, says that the tighter rules are intended to guarantee that formulas are safe and that they will support normal growth in babies. The new rules also require formula manufacturers to include specific nutrients, including proteins, fats and vitamins in their products.
The FDA recognizes that breastfeeding is strongly recommended for newborns, but points out that approximately 25% of infants actually start out using formula, and by three months of age almost two-thirds of infants rely on formula.
While most formula companies already meet the new FDA standards, these tougher regulations are intended to assure that every new company is also in compliance with strict nutritional and safety guidelines.