The Warehouse Grain BeetleThe Similac formula recall scare is one of many formula recalls, but this one seems to really have gotten to a lot of moms.
As we covered the recall, helping moms identify the rather ambiguous and confusing lot numbers and affected containers, there were a lot of heartbreaking comments from moms who were rightfully upset that the formula they trusted for their baby's health could have something as disgusting as beetles and their larvae mixed in -- despite the reassurance that it was a "common beetle" and that while it could hurt babies' GI tract and they might refuse to eat for a bit, it wasn't of immediate medical concern.
Moms seemed to really disagree with that attitude. I called last week for moms to really step up and tell formula companies that this kind of thing isn't okay, and that's exactly what's happening:
Moms have formed a class-action lawsuit against Similac, and a Senator is questioning the company as well.
...a federal class action was filed accusing the manufacturers of unfairly and deceptively promoting the product as having safe ingredients for infant consumption when the ingredients may cause diarrhea and other health problems.
Seems that moms think GI tract pain and refusal to eat is not okay.
There is a Facebook group set up for moms (and dads and other caretakers) to organize efforts to sue Abbott Industries under the accusations of failing to properly exert quality control measures to ensure that the formula was safe for consumption and that it did not contain beetle particles.
Specific legal terms: negligence, strict liability, intentional misrepresentation, negligent misrepresentation, breach of express warranty, breach of implied warranty of merchantability and fitness for particular purpose, and unjust enrichment.
To make matters worse for Similac/Abbott, Iowa's own Senator Tom Harkin, who is also chairman of the Senate Health, Education Labor, and Pensions Committee, has started an inquiry into the reason that Abbot waited a full week after discovering the bugs before they issued a recall, and wants to know if they knew about the complaints the FDA was getting ... and sat on it. He also wants to know if whether or not this is going to cause a shortage of the formula and what they're doing, if anything, to prevent it -- important info for moms whose infants rely on this particular formula. He's given them a generous deadline of October 7 for their response.
Personally, I'm going to support this lawsuit and inquiry in any way I can. I have no grounds to join the lawsuit, but those of you who do, do it! If your child has had any problems, get medical documentation and join these efforts. The biggest changes in infant formula have always come from consumer demand, but usually after something has gone wrong. Hopefully this situation can be used as a stepping stool to demand better procedures, transparency, and safety requirements of all formula companies, for the sake of all babies who drink formula at any time, for any reason.
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