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Health and nutrition claims for infant formula are poorly substantiated and potentially harmful

May 31, 2020

Despite improvements in infant formula over its 150 year history, it is still associated with health risks for mother and infant compared with breastfeeding. Manufacturers try to limit these risks through changes to formula composition, which are often accompanied by health or nutrition claims that aid product
differentiation or increase market value. Academics and regulators have raised concerns, however, that these claims are often unfounded and may undermine efforts to support breastfeeding. The current regulatory environment allows claims to be made for food products with low levels of evidence, but the potential harms associated with claims are higher for infant formula than for other foods. How can we prevent the
harms associated with infant formula claims while ensuring formula fed infants can benefit from improvements in formula composition?

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