I received a copy in the mail of Consumer Reports Best Baby Products Book and was asked to write a post about the recent lawsuit between Mead Johnson and PBM. Mead Johnson, among other products, produces baby formula – Enfamil. PBM sued them for false advertising.
Now, I have 4 kids and I breastfed them all. I have never used formula, however, I am appalled after reading what Mead Johnson did. Here is a quote from an article on PBM’s website:
The nutritional supplements under examination in the case are two fats, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and ARA (arachidonic acid), which Mead Johnson calls “LIPIL®” solely for marketing purposes and touts as promoting infant brain and eye development. PBM’s claim focused on Mead Johnson’s direct mailing to more than 1.6 million parents of an alarming blurry picture of a child’s cartoon duck next to a clear picture of the same image which suggested that anything other than the Enfamil LIPIL® blend of ingredients is inferior and will result in poor eye and brain development. Other parts of the false advertising campaign consist of statements that only Enfamil LIPIL has been proven to confer visual and mental benefits on infants, and store-brand formulas are a “cut-back in nutrition” compared to Enfamil.
Ok, this annoys me because it is a scare tactic! It’s ridiculous! I know when I was breastfeeding my kids, I did it first and foremost for their health. However, if I had to use formula how horrible it would be to be told if I chose to save money and use a store brand formula that my kids would be developmentally inferior to those of parents who chose to spend more money for the higher priced formula! This is what they were doing! In these tough economic times, we have to make smart decisions and we have to chose to spend smarter. I could rant all day, this makes me mad. But, the best thing to come out of this 3rd lawsuit against Mead Johnson, is that it has been proven that store brand formula is equal to Enfamil!
From the above quoted article:
PBM successfully argued that these advertisements were false and misleading especially since PBM store- brand infant formulas have the same nutrients at the same levels as Enfamil. PBM infant formulas are formulated to contain DHA and ARA, and are sourced from the same supplier in amounts which equal or exceed the DHA and ARA in Mead Johnson’s Enfamil LIPIL®.
I happen to be in my Dr.’s office this week and I asked him his opinion. He said first of course “Breast is best!” He went on to say that there is no difference in the store brand formulas compared to brand name formulas, and then followed up by saying, “But, breast milk blows them all out of the water!” I know many young mothers have a hard time when it comes to affording baby things, and of course they are concerned with their child’s nutrition, too, but, to try to scare them into using your product? Shame on Mead Johnson! This is the third time they have been sued for false advertising regarding formula!
For more info on this you can visit the following links:
Official Press Release: