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Mead Johnson, the manufacturer of Enfamil, the brand of powdered baby formula that was fed to a Missouri infant boy before his death from bacterial infection last week, has said that its testing shows the formula does not contain the bacteria.

Mead Johnson Nutrition said two tests of samples of its Enfamil Premium Newborn formula found no sign of the bacteria, known as Cronobacter sakazakii. The samples tested were taken from the same lot as the formula given to the baby boy who died, the company said.

The Missouri case prompted retail giant Walmart to pull all cans of the same size and lot number from its shelves last week. Another newborn baby was sickened in Illinois but is recovering from the infection, according to the state health department. –CNN

Mead Johnson conducted two separate tests on the batch of formula that the baby boy ate. Both tests came out negative for the bacteria, as did multiple tests from various health agencies. "The company wanted to reassure consumers — as quickly as possible and based on rigorous scientific data — of the safety and quality of all its products," it said.

While this specific concern over bacteria in Enfamil may be assuaged, please take Mead Johnson’s assurances of safety and quality with a grain of salt. There is overwhelming evidence that feeding babies formula from birth, rather than breastfeeding, poses numerous health risks. Babies who are never breastfed are several times likelier than breastfed babies to die of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), to have lower blood oxygenation and poorer growth, to contract respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia, to contract bacterial infections, and in general, to die before the age of two. When it’s possible for mother and baby, breastfeeding is always a safer and healthier option than formula, no matter what the brand.


  1. Gravatar for Amanda

    How is it not the formula when two different infants two diifferent states are sick and one is dead ..... Now I want to change my daughter off of enfamil because I'm scare she gets sick

  2. Gravatar for Camryn Hansen

    Thank you for commenting. Dr. Robert Tauxe from the CDC has said that there is no evidence the two infections are related, and that these two cases may just be a coincidence. Health agencies are trying to track everything the infants ate and what kinds of environments they were in to figure out how both of them contracted the bacterial infection. It does seem very strange that such a rare bacteria would strike two infants within the same month. Best of luck to you and your daughter.

  3. Gravatar for Hannah Butler

    There would be no concern for you or your daughter if you had chosen to breast feed. I'm not trying to start a confrontation but I had an EXTREMELY hard first three months with BFing my son. He was premmature, had thrush, poor latch and I had yeast, mastitis and clogged ducts off and on, I also had the worst cracks I could ever imagine and was in terrible, throbbing pain with every feeding. I was told by one pediatrician to just give him formula and it would be ok. Needless to say I never saw him again and requested only another ped for my son with each visit. We eventually got better and are still exclusively BFing at 7 mnths! I was told I shouldn't have continued BFing because it was causing too much pain for me and stress and that it just might not be the thing for us. Well they were wrong and I NEVER have to be worried about him getting any infections from a certain formula bc he doesn't get that crap!

  4. Gravatar for JP

    My twins starved for the first 5 months of their lives while I refused to cave and give them formula, because giving formula would have made me - in my mind at the time - a horrible mother. But I finally did it, I finally gave them formula, and their weight gain took off and everyone's mood improved 9000%. I was no longer struggling to feed two miserable babies, and my babies were no longer starving. Nothing bad came of it, only good. I am sure if bad had come of it, the breast is best side would still be raking me over the coals for daring to give formula and not donated milk. Everything in life carries risk. Everything. The vast majority of babies who are fed formula, all or in part, thrive and grow just fine. You can point to all the studies you like about how breastfeeding offers superior benefits, but if you walk into any elementary or middle school classroom, odds are, you will not be able to tell who was breastfed and who was formula fed. Breastfeeding is awesome when it works - I am exclusively breastfeeding my 4th child - but I will never get on the bandwagon of blaming the parents when something as tragic as this occurs. It was a one in a million tragedy. No worse than the 2 year old who died in the e coli outbreak few years ago when his mother snuck him a spinach smoothie. You do the best you can - sometimes someone else's best isn't YOUR best - sometimes bad things happen anyway.

    I don't know what I would do if I had a formula fed infant right now. I'd be nervous. I might change brands to be safe. I might also take comfort in knowing after this testing is going to be stepped up so it's probably safer than ever.

  5. Gravatar for MamaE

    I hope people realize that this is just from the powdered infant formula, and not ALL formula. If someone is scared, and cannot breast feed, then switch to the concentrate or ready-feed ... which is sterile. Powdered Formula is not sterile.

    I've formula fed and breast fed my children. And not everything said about either is totally true for everyone.

  6. Gravatar for Sorrels

    I hate when people make remaks about Brest feeding and how it was so hard and if they did it any one can so untrue I Did for 3days and my body could not take it at all I was passing out and no one new why I was eating and drinking lots of water and still passed out couldn't even hold my baby cuz of passing out and it was because some thing in my body made it to we're I could not brest feed and when I stopped I stopped getting sick do to the lady that thinks you have a rigt to say well if you Brest feed you wouldn't have a hard time you no nothing evey body's different now I think it's great if you are able to Brest feed but women who do should not look down on women who don't !

  7. Gravatar for linda

    My baby is 3 weeks old and his premature. No I do not breast feed because I tried it with my oldest son and I was getting real sick that I was hospitalize 3 times. But my premature baby his on formula and is enfamil for premature but now that I'm reading all this I'm getting scared because he was just hospitalize for a week from an infection and he was staying out of air.

    Ps. Every mom is different! Don't judge does mom's that don't breastfeed and feed their baby's wit formula. Because you never know what's their situation!

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