Tuesday, August 10, 2010

More from the baby news desk...

Every time I start to think facebook is pointless, someone shares something extremely interesting, and I am hooked on updates again.

Today, I was captivated by this Huffington Post article by John Robbins regarding Chinese babies growing breasts due to mistakenly high levels of estrogen in formula.

And don't point fingers at the formula-producers just yet. Supposedly, the most likely point for the hormones to have entered the picture was with the cows... as in excess estrogen via the bovine growth hormone.

I encourage you to read the article and read about other occurrences of hormones in milk and the issues involved. It left me unsettled.

But let's be proactive. Here's a relevant excerpt from the H.P. article regarding what to do about all of this:

What's a consumer to do?

If at all possible, breast-feed your babies, and support breast-feeding friendly workplaces and other environments. It's hard to overstate the health advantages of breast-feeding for both mother and baby. They are enormous, and particularly so today, when the possibility exists that commercially available infant formula could be contaminated with excess hormones.

If you are going to buy dairy products, try to get them from organic sources. Organic milk products by law can't be produced with bovine growth hormone (BGH). Or look for dairy products that specifically say they are produced without BGH (also called recombinant bovine somatotropin, or rBST). Starbucks only uses dairy products that have not been produced with the hormone. Ben & Jerry's ice cream likewise uses only milk and cream from dairy farms that have pledged not to use BGH.

If you're going to eat cheese, remember that American-made cheeses are likely to be contaminated with BGH and excess levels of IGF-1 unless they're organic or labeled BGH-free. Most cheeses that are imported from Europe are safe, though, since much of Europe has banned the hormone. (John Robbins, 2010)

Hmm... after my cheese-loving post yesterday, I'm left wondering if our VT cheese is organic and bgh-free. Time for more research!


  1. stories like this are so frustrating to me! I was breastfeeding, and had to supplement with formula because my baby was not gaining enough weight. and since I was back at work very quickly, and on the run most of the day, it was impossible to pump and have enough breastmilk, so formula was pretty much the only option. how are you supposed to be sure your formula is safe?? I mean I know those are kind of extreme cases in the story, but still scary...

  2. I totally hear you, Lauren! Gabe very well may have his first supplemented bottle tomorrow while I work because my body is just not responding to the pump as well anymore, and I don't have enough milk stored right now for an entire bottle (if I am lucky, we might squeak by if I get enough tomorrow morning)-- and now I am totally freaked about the formula, probably irrationally so, but how can you help it when you hear about this?

  3. Hey, tell me what you end up getting to supplement, if anything. My friend uses some organic formula from Whole Foods that worked well. Also, I posted that article on my fb page as well, but ended up taking it down. Interesting stuff in it, right? I guess we miss some of it because we buy organic dairy...makes me feel good about the choice to do so.