New mothers who struggle to breastfeed turn to organic formula every year without knowing the hidden secret of the industry–there is no such thing as organic formula in the United States. And that’s because each brand contains ingredients not allowable in the organic standards, which techincally makes it NOT an organic food. Some are better than others, but the fact that this has been going on for over a decade is simply wrong. Instead of just sitting here and complaining about it, I sued Hain Celestial (makers of Earth’s Best Baby Formula) in Federal Court. Ultimately, the lawsuit lost on a technicality but it did open the door for other consumers to sue organic companies if they are not following the standards of organic. Whether that’s a good or bad thing in your opinion, you can thank me for that. Now that the dust has settled, I’m telling you my story. You’ve trusted Mamavation to bring you topics like safest small kitchen appliances, safest cookware & safest infant car seats, now join us as we FINALLY tell you the truth about infant formula.
Disclosure: This post is about a real lawsuit in Federal Court led by Leah Segedie of Mamavation.com. For three years of work, she received a couple thousand dollars as a settlement payment. She did not sign anything saying she couldn’t describe the events or the people involved, which is why you are hearing them now. Leah is describing the events as well as she can from memory and public records. There may be slight discrepancies from any deposition she may have had to record based on her memory of the events.
Why There is No Such Thing As Organic Formula
There is no such thing as organic formula, but companies are sure profiting from fake organic formula to the tune of $6.5 BILLION and growing every year. That may be a puzzling statement, but it’s true. What you see in the stores is a fake organic product. And that’s because to produce something like infant formula, it’s impossible today without using ingredients from the prohibited list. The organic industry has a list of ingredients that are prohibited from being in ANY food with the USDA organic seal. Some of these ingredients are synthetic vitamins, while others are things like sodium selenate & taurine, a carcinogen. Whether you believe that organic companies should have the right to produce a formula and slap the organic certification on it or not doesn’t matter. What matters is they are deceiving the public about the purity of organic formula. It’s a matter of trust.
Now what happens if you have to formula feed? Not all women are able to breastfeed. (I was among that group years ago.) And although I feel for those women because that’s a real problem. That is not an excuse to deceive ALL mothers about organic formula. Women who have a choice need to have real information so they can exercise their freedom. I’m sure some mothers would change their mind about supplementing with formula if they were given the facts about the origins of the organic formula on aisle five. Those women have a right to know what is happening in the organic formula industry as do we all and this post is for them.
Like Other Moms, I Struggled To Breastfeed. At Such a Vulnerable Moment, The Organic Industry Lied to Me. And To You.
In 2006, I had my first baby. I struggled to breastfeed him just like millions of other mothers do across the globe. He didn’t properly latch on for seven long days and in that time, I expressed my milk in a ramekin and then fed it to him with my fingertips. When he finally latched on, I felt like I had accomplished the biggest feat of my life. But my first baby had Autism, and although we didn’t know it at the time, those babies struggle to breastfeed. Although he latched on, it was done improperly so that led to constant sores, bruising and breast infections. In fact, I had three really severe breast infections within the first four months. They were so bad, I called them “night of the living dead boob” to describe what my breasts looked like. The pain and stress from it all were almost unbearable. Long story short, I started to supplement him with organic formula from Earth’s Best, a company owned by Hain Celestial, just to give myself a break.
Thinking back on it all, I probably would have made another decision had I known how problematic organic formula was. But back then without the truth, I could only think of my own sanity. I didn’t anticipate being deceived by the organic formula industry. Had I known back then what I know today, I would have kept struggling to feed him breastmilk exclusively. If you are anything like I was back then, this investigation is for you.
Fast forward to another baby three years later, I wasn’t as concerned because I had my first one and supplemented him with organic formula. It was good enough for the first, so why not the second? He was getting mostly breastmilk anyways. And although I wasn’t struggling, I supplemented him just for the extra sleep and sanity. By the time I had my third and last baby, I was a pro at supplementing. But at six months old, he developed severe eczema & food allergies and I had to stop breastfeeding him entirely because he was allergic to the top 8 allergens and it was passing through my breastmilk. Even with a modified diet, who could have anticipated having a child with a total of 24 food allergies, as was later discovered. So I ended up using a non-gmo amino acid formula manufactured by Danone.
I thought that was the end of breastfeeding and supplementing with organic formula for me. I didn’t really think anything of it until I discovered that Earth’s Best baby formula contained ingredients not allowable in the organic standard.
How I Sued the Organic Industry And Changed The Law
This made me incredibly angry at Earth’s Best and all the other organic baby formulas for deceiving us all. What could I do about this issue? I’m just ONE person. But it kept nagging at me. Here was a brand deceiving consumers about who they were. They didn’t deserve the marketing halo they received from using the organic certification. They were imposters deceiving new mothers who were desperate like I was to make things work. And how was this even possible? What about the organic seal, the USDA, and the certifiers that audit them? I thought I was supposed to be able to trust the organic seal because it was backed by a system that had rules, checks, and balances. But the unfairness of it all was at a level I didn’t feel like writing a simple blog post would solve. So instead, I decided to sue.
I found an attorney that was willing to take my lawsuit on a contingency, which meant I didn’t owe her anything unless the court case won and there was a settlement. At that time, I had tons of organic brands that I was working with, but none of them were formula companies which made me feel like there wasn’t a conflict of interest. So I signed and sued, but before any lawsuit was filed we spent about a year negotiating with Hain Celestial to allow them to do the right thing. But they didn’t want to give up the organic seal or reformulate the product, likely because they were making so much money, so we ended up suing them in Federal Court.
The lawsuit went on for years and it produced lots of stress. I received harassment from colleagues inside the organic industry who didn’t like what I was doing. These were people who had a reputation for demanding transparency and all of a sudden were emailing me and calling me demanding that I drop the lawsuit. To them, I had become an enemy of the organic industry and they let me know about it. I’m sure going through all this cost me clients, but I didn’t care. It was the principle that I was fighting for.
As the lawsuit progressed through the courts, other lawsuits were able to go through because of mine. It had set a precedent, whereas someone could sue an organic company based on organic standards. That had never been done before. And thanks to my lawsuit, you can hold an organic company accountable by suing them if they are cheating.
And years later, we finally lost on a technicality. In the settlement, I got a couple thousand dollars, which was actually more than I was expecting. So why did I wait till now to tell you? Well, it’s simple. My words could have been used against me in the case and I didn’t want to chance it. You’ve heard the expression “loose lips sink ships” right? That was what I was afraid of. When I was deposed for six hours, that was when I realized how wise I was to avoid talking about it in social media or on my blog. Everything was used against me.
Ingredients Inside Organic Formula Not Allowable In Organic Food
Today I can tell you with certainty that there are several ingredients inside “organic” formulas that are not allowable in organic standards. What that means is there are ingredients found in organic formula that would never be allowed in organic cereal, crackers, chips, soda, prepared meals, supplements or protein powder. Some of these ingredients are synthetic vitamins, synthetic nutrients, hydrolyzed yeast, harshly processed fillers, and others are federally mandated to be in infant formula. But regardless of their intent, they are not allowed in organic food. You don’t see them in organic cereal, so why are they suddenly okay in infant formula?
Here is a list of ingredients not allowable in organic food that you may find in organic infant formula. I’ve pulled the content directly from similar court documents to show you.
Sodium selenate–is federally regulated as an “extremely hazardous substance” and toxic pollutant. 40 C.F.R. § 355; 40 C.F.R. § 401.15. Sodium selenate is extremely hazardous in case of ingestion and is toxic to the blood, kidneys, lungs, and liver. MSDS sodium selenate. It is permitted to be used in animal feeds, but not permitted to be used in foods intended for human consumption. It is produced by dissolving metallic selenium in nitric acid and reacting the product with an alkali metal hydroxide, alkali metal carbonate, and/or some other metal oxide hydroxide, forming an alkali metal selenite, which is then oxidized to form selenate. U.S. Patent No. 4,605,544. Sodium selenate is not permitted in organic products. 7 C.F.R. § 205.605.
Adenosine-5’-Monophosphate (“AMP”), cytidine-5’-monophosphate (“CMP”), disodium guanosine-5’-monophosphate (“GMP”); disodium uridine-5’-monophosphate (“UMP”)–, which are compounds known as nucleotides, the base molecules of ribonucleic acid (RNA) and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). Upon information and belief, they are synthetically extracted from the RNA in yeast by enzymatic hydrolysis and synthetic filtration, using hydrochloric acid. The Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) has never affirmed any of the nucleotides as generally recognized as safe (“GRAS”) as a food additive. One ingredient supplier determined that one of the nucleotides, AMP, is generally recognized as safe as a food ingredient, and it has been used as an artificial flavor enhancer due to its strong umami-like flavor. FDA Agency Response Letter GRAS Notice No. GRN 000144. No supplier has filed a similar determination that any of the other four nucleotides are generally recognized as safe as a food ingredient. These nucleotides are not permitted in organic foods. 7 C.F.R. §§ 205.105(c), 205.605.
Taurine a.k.a. 1 2-aminoethanesulfonic acid–which animal studies show to have negative brain and nervous system effects, metabolic effects, and cardiovascular effects, even at very low doses. Commercially available taurine is synthetically produced by reacting ethylene oxide with aqueous sodium bisulfate, reacting aziridine with sulfurous acid, or reacting monoethanolamine, sulfuric acid, and sodium sulfite. The FDA has not affirmed taurine as safe
in foods or infant formulas, and taurine is not permitted to be added to foods labeled as “organic.” 7 C.F.R. §§ 205.105(c), 205.605. In fact, the National Organic Standards Board specifically rejected applications to permit taurine to be added to organic foods.
Docosahexaenoic acid single cell oil, a.k.a. “DHASCO”–which is added to formula in the form of crypthecodinium cohnii oil. Martek Biosciences Corporation produces crypthecodinium cohnii oil as a by-product from the marine dinoflagellate C. cohnii, a nonagricultural microorganism. 7 C.F.R. §§ 205.2; 205.605. Such by-products from nonagricultural microorganisms (like DHASCO) are not permitted in organic foods. 7 C.F.R. §§ 205.105(c), 205.605. Martek Biosciences Corporation uses hexane (a volatile synthetic solvent and toxic pollutant) to extract DHASCO from the unicellular microalgae, and it adds ascorbyl palmitate (a synthetic substance) to the final byproduct for oxidative stability. As much as 77% of the final DHASCO contains other triglycerides, including myristic acid (13-20%), palmitic acid (12-25%), oleic acid (10-25%), lauric acid (2-6%), and capric acid (1%). None of these compounds is permitted in organic foods, 7 C.F.R. § 205.605, and DHASCO is not permitted in organic foods, 7 C.F.R. §§ 205.105(c), 205.270; 205.605.
Arachidonic acid single cell oil, a.k.a. “ARASCO,”– which is added to Arachidonic acid single cell oil, a.k.a. “ARASCO,” which is added to some formulas in the form of mortierella alpine oil. Mortierella alpine oil is a by-product from M. alpina, a soil fungus, and therefore not permitted in organic foods. 7C.F.R. §§ 205.2, 205.605. Like DHASCO, ARASCO is produced using hexane extraction and ascorbyl palmitate to preserve oxidative stability. The product is therefore not permitted in organic foods. 7 C.F.R. §§ 205.105, 205.270. As much as 64% of the final ARASCO ingredient contains other fatty acids, including oleic acid (~16–23%), palmitic acid (~7–10%), stearic acid (~7–10%), linoleic acid (~6–8%), gamma-linoleic acid (~3%), dihomo-gamma-linoleic acid (~1–3%), behenic acid (~2%), and a number of other fatty acids at levels less than one percent. None of these compounds are permitted in organic foods, 7 C.F.R. § 205.605, and ARASCO are not permitted in organic foods, 7 C.F.R. §§ 205.105(c), 205.605.
Ascorbyl palmitate is a chemical preservative, 21 C.F.R. § 182.3149, prepared by condensing palmitoyl chloride and ascorbic acid in the presence of a dehydrochlorinating agent such as pyridine. It can also be produced by the esterification of ascorbic acid with sulfuric acid and palmitic acid. Other patented processes use dimethylformamide, dimethyl sulfoxide, or hydrogen fluoride instead of sulfuric acid. Ascorbyl palmitate is not permitted in organic foods. 7 C.F.R. §§ 205.105(c), 205.605.
Calcium pantothenate which is synthetically prepared from isobutyraldehyde, a synthetic flavoring substance and toxic chemical, 21 C.F.R. § 184.1212; 40 C.F.R. § 372.65, and formaldehyde, a hazardous substance, 40 C.F.R. § 116.4, via 1,1-dimethyl-2-hydroxy-propionaldehyde and pantolactone. 21 C.F.R. § 184.1212. It is not allowed in organic foods. 7 C.F.R. §§ 205.105(c), 205.605.
Choline chloride, which is a synthetic substance produced by reacting trimethylamine and concentrated hydrochloric acid (both hazardous substances) and treating the resulting product with ethylene oxide under pressure. Choline chloride (C5H14ClNO) is not the same substance as the nutrient choline (C5H14NO). While choline chloride is permitted in soy-based infant formula, it is prohibited in other foods labeled as organic.7 C.F.R. §§ 205.105(c), 205.605.
Choline bitartrate, which is a synthetic substance produced by the reaction of trimethylamine with ethylene oxide followed by treatment with tartaric acid. Trimethylamine and tartaric acid are both hazardous substances. 40 C.F.R. § 116.4. Choline bitartrate is not the same substance as choline, an ingredient permitted in organic non-milk-based infant formulas. Choline bitartrate (C9H19NO7) is a synthetic variation of choline (C5H14NO), a nutrient naturally found in grains, nuts, and beans. It is not allowed in organic foods. 7 C.F.R. §§ 205.105(c), 205.605.
Cyanocobalamin which is a synthetic compound produced commercially from cultures of Streptomyces griseus. 21 C.F.R. § 184.1945. Cyanocobalamin (C63H88CoN14O14P) is chemically and molecularly distinct from natural vitamin B12 (cobalamin, C62H88CoN13O14P), found in animal foods such as fish, liver, poultry, eggs, and milk products.
Cyanocobalamin does not give the human body the full range of vitamin activity found in natural vitamin B12. Unlike natural vitamin B12, the body converts cyanocobalamin to methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin, leaving the body to enzymatically remove the resulting cyanide, potentially harmful to those who are deficient in this ability. Cyanocobalamin is not allowed in organic foods. 7 C.F.R. §§ 205.105(c), 205.605.
L-carnitine is usually synthesized using epichlorhydrine or trimethylamine, and racemate separation by fractionated crystallization or other methods. L-carnitine can also be obtained from industrially produced D-mannitol, or produced using commercially available biosynthetic methods via microorganisms (e.g., Escherichia coli, Proteus mirabilis) cultivated in a bioreactor with crotonobetaine, crotonobetaine salts, or its derivatives. L-Carnatine is not permitted in organic foods. 7 C.F.R. §§ 205.105(c), 205.605.
Cholecalciferol is a synthetic compound. Its production requires ultraviolet irradiation of ergosterol isolated from yeast and related fungi and purified by crystallization, or ultraviolet irradiation of 7-dehydrocholesterol produced from cholesterol. 21 C.F.R. § 184.1950(a). Cholecalciferol can be produced from fish liver oils, but some labels do not indicate that the ingredient was derived from seafood, as would be required by law. Cholecalciferol is not allowed in organic foods. 7 C.F.R. § 205.105(f).
Lutein is an antioxidant found in egg yolks, yellow flower petals, algae, and vegetables. It is commercially produced from marigold petals through solvent extraction and saponification to cleave the fatty acids from the xanthophyll esters, yielding free lutein. According to the USDA, the resulting lutein product is synthetic. It is not permitted in organic foods. 7 C.F.R. § 205.605.
M-Inositol, which according to the USDA, cannot be produced non-synthetically on a commercial scale using available methods, isn’t allowed in organic. Instead, inositol is synthetically produced by extracting phytic acid (inositol-hexaphosphate) from plants such as corn or rice by soaking in a dilute acid solution, such as hydrochloric acid or sulfuric acid, creating phytin (inositol-hexaphosphate salt). The phytin is synthetically converted to inositol by hydrolysis with a strong sulfuric acid solution and then purified with a reagent like barium to remove the sulfuric acid, phosphoric acid, and calcium or magnesium sulfate. Alternatively, it can be prepared synthetically from phytin using ammonium salts such as ammonium sulfate, ammonium chloride, ammonium nitrate, ammonium acetate, or ammonium phosphate for hydrolysis. M-Inositol is prohibited from organic foods, and milk-based infant formulas. 7 C.F.R. §§ 205.105(c), 205.605; 21C.F.R. § 107.100.
Beta-carotene is a synthetic food coloring agent, additive number E160a; 21 C.F.R. §§ 184.1245(a), 101.22(a)(4) (“artificial color” or “artificial coloring”). Beta-carotene is isolated from natural sources using column chromatography and separation by non-polar solvents, such as hexane (a synthetic neurotoxin and environmental hazard). Beta-carotene is not the same substance as vitamin A. Beta-carotene operates on the human body differently than natural vitamin A. For example, some studies indicate that beta-carotene supplementation increases the probability of lung cancer in cigarette smokers. Beta-carotene is not allowed in organic foods. 7 C.F.R. §§ 205.105(c), 205.605.
Biotin which is synthetically produced from fumaric acid, a hazardous substance. Biotin is not permitted in milk-based organic infant formulas. 7 C.F.R. § 205.605; 21 C.F.R. § 107.100.
How the Organic Industry Gets Away With Deceiving Consumers About Infant Formula
How does the organic industry get away with deceiving consumers about the ingredients in their infant formula? Well, to be honest, I’m not exactly sure. There was a period of years where the certifiers were basically just not doing anything about this. They knew it was happening and didn’t force the companies to reformulate. I’m sure they’ll state that they needed to use these ingredients in order to create a nutritious product, but I’m not buying it. If you can’t create an organic product, you shouldn’t deceive the consumer into thinking it’s organic. Find another certification!
When you purchase organic cereal, it isn’t fortified like other conventional cereals because they can’t use synthetic vitamins. Therefore, they just don’t. That works for the organic cereal industry, but not for the organic formula industry. I get they are federally mandated to put some of these ingredients inside the formula, but that’s not the point. Deception is the point. The organic formula industry is allowed to cheat. Literally. And with our babies!
As early as September 2011, the USDA declared that many of the ingredients above were not to be permitted in organic products. So it’s still a mystery to me today how this is allowed to happen. I’ve interviewed people in the organic industry about this and they basically say “but then we couldn’t have organic formula!” Yes, exactly. You shouldn’t be able to have organic formula until you can produce it without deceiving the consumer. And now that I’m no longer able to sue Hain Celestial in court about it, I’m instead going to expose the practice so families know exactly what is happening.
Organic Formulas By Ingredients–Some Better Than Others
I pulled these ingredients right from the brand websites most of the time. Some of them were in all caps and I’ve left them that way for sanity purposes. Then I highlighted the ingredients in bold so you could see which ones were not allowable in organic food. The iconic American organic formula brands fared the worst. Newer ones did better and then European ones did the best. Organic standards for formula in Europe are different than the United States so it makes sense why they have less of the bad ingredients in there.
Organic Bad Guys
These brands contain 13 or more ingredients that are not allowable in organic food. Although they are still technically certified organic, they do not deserve the certification.
Earth’s Best Organic Infant Formula: Organic Lactose, Organic Nonfat Milk, Organic Oils (Organic Palm or Palm Olein, Organic Soy, Organic Coconut, Organic High Oleic Safflower or Sunflower Oil), Organic Whey Protein Concentrate, Less Than 1%: Mortierella Alpina Oil*, Crypthecodinium Cohnii Oil**, Fructooligosaccharide, Lutein, L-Carnitine, Vitamin A Palmitate, Beta-Carotene, Vitamin D (Cholecalciferol), Vitamin E (DL-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate), Mixed Tocopherol Concentrate, Vitamin K (Phytonadione), Ascorbyl Palmitate, Thiamine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Cyanocobalamin, Niacinamide, Folic Acid, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Ascorbic Acid, Choline Bitartrate, Inositol, Calcium Carbonate, Calcium Chloride, Calcium Hydroxide, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Cupric Sulfate, Magnesium Phosphate, Potassium Bicarbonate, Potassium Chloride, Potassium Iodide, Potassium Hydroxide, Potassium Phosphate, Sodium Selenite, Sodium Citrate, Taurine, Organic Soy Lecithin, Nucleotides (Cytidine-5-Monophosphate, Adenosine-5-Monophosphate, Disodium Uridine-5-Monophosphate, Disodium Guanosine-5-Monophosphate, Disodium Inosine-5-Monophosphate). Total of 17.
Earth’s Best Organic Formula with no Added DHA/ARA: Organic Lactose, Organic NonFat Milk, Organic Oils (Organic Palm or Palm Olein, Organic Soy, Organic Coconut, Organic High Oleic Safflower or Sunflower Oil), Organic Whey Protein Concentrate, Less Than 1%: Fructooligosaccharide, Lutein, L-Carnitine, Vitamin A Palmitate, Beta-Carotene, Vitamin D (Cholecalciferol), Vitamin E (dl-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate), Mixed Tocopherol Concentrate, Vitamin K (Phytonadione), Ascorbyl Palmitate, Thiamine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Cyanocobalamin, Niacinamide, Folic Acid, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Ascorbic Acid, Choline Bitartrate, Inositol, Calcium Carbonate, Calcium Chloride, Calcium Hydroxide, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Cupric Sulfate, Magnesium Phosphate, Potassium Bicarbonate, Potassium Chloride, Potassium Iodide, Potassium Hydroxide, Potassium Phosphate, Sodium Selenite, Sodium Citrate, Taurine, Organic Soy Lecithin Nucleotides (Cytidine-5′-Monophosphate, Adenosine-5′-Monophosphate, Disodium Uridine-5′-Monophosphate, Disodium Guanosine-5′-Monophosphate, Disodium Inosine-5’Monophosphate). Total of 15.
Similac Advanced Organic Infant Formula: Organic Nonfat Milk, Organic Maltodextrin, Organic Sugar, Organic High Oleic Sunflower Oil, Organic Soy Oil, Organic Coconut Oil. Less than 2% of: C. Cohnii Oil, M. Alpina Oil, Beta-Carotene, Lutein, Lycopene, Fructooligosaccharides, Potassium Citrate, Calcium Carbonate, Ascorbic Acid, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Ferrous Sulfate, Salt, Choline Chloride, Choline Bitartrate, Taurine, m-Inositol, Magnesium Chloride, Zinc Sulfate, Mixed Tocopherols, d-Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate, Niacinamide, Calcium Pantothenate, L-Carnitine, Vitamin A Palmitate, Cupric Sulfate, Thiamine Chloride Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Manganese Sulfate, Phylloquinone, Biotin, Sodium Selenate, Vitamin D3, Cyanocobalamin, Potassium Iodide, Potassium Hydroxide, and Nucleotides (Cytidine 5’-Monophosphate, Disodium Guanosine 5’-Monophosphate, Disodium Uridine 5’-Monophosphate, Adenosine 5’-Monophosphate). Total of 17.
Gerber Natura Organic Infant Formula: ORGANIC NONFAT MILK, ORGANIC LACTOSE, ORGANIC MALTODEXTRIN, ORGANIC PALM OLEIN OR PALM OIL, ORGANIC SOY OIL, ORGANIC COCONUT OIL, ORGANIC HIGH OLEIC (SAFFLOWER OR SUNFLOWER) OIL, ORGANIC GALACTOOLIGOSACCHARIDES*, ORGANIC WHEY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, LESS THAN 1%: MORTIERELLA ALPINA OIL**, DHA ALGAL OIL (SCHIZOCHYTRIUM)***, ORGANIC SOY LECITHIN, POTASSIUM BICARBONATE, POTASSIUM PHOSPHATE, SODIUM CITRATE, CALCIUM HYDROXIDE, CHOLINE CHLORIDE, MAGNESIUM CHLORIDE, CALCIUM CHLORIDE, ASCORBIC ACID, CALCIUM CARBONATE, TAURINE, INOSITOL, FERROUS SULFATE, ZINC SULFATE, VITAMIN E (dl-ALPHA TOCOPHERYL ACETATE), L-CARNITINE, MIXED TOCOPHEROL CONCENTRATE, NIACINAMIDE, ASCORBYL PALMITATE, POTASSIUM HYDROXIDE, CALCIUM PANTOTHENATE, CUPRIC SULFATE, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, THIAMIN HYDROCHLORIDE, RIBOFLAVIN, PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE, MANGANESE SULFATE, BETA-CAROTENE, FOLIC ACID, VITAMIN K (PHYTONADIONE), POTASSIUM IODIDE, SODIUM SELENITE, BIOTIN, VITAMIN D (CHOLECALCIFEROL), CYANOCOBALAMIN, NUCLEOTIDES (CYTIDINE-5’-MONOPHOSPHATE, DISODIUM URIDINE-5’-MONOPHOSPHATE, ADENOSINE-5’-MONOPHOSPHATE, DISODIUM INOSINE-5’-MONOPHOSPHATE, DISODIUM GUANOSINE-5’-MONOPHOSPHATE). Total of 15.
Better Organic Infant Formulas
These organic infant formulas contain between 8-13 ingredients that are not allowable in organic food. If you are going to buy organic, you may as well go for ones that are better. I’ve linked some of these brands up for you if you would like to purchase.
Plum Organic Infant Formula: ORGANIC LACTOSE, ORGANIC NONFAT MILK, ORGANIC PALM OIL OR PALM OLEIN, ORGANIC SOY OIL, ORGANIC COCONUT OIL, ORGANIC HIGH OLEIC (SAFFLOWER OR SUNFLOWER) OIL, ORGANIC WHEY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, LESS THAN 1%: MORTIERELLA ALPINA OIL*, CRYPTHECODINIUM COHNII OIL**, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, BETA-CAROTENE, VITAMIN D (CHOLECALCIFEROL), VITAMIN E (dl-ALPHA TOCOPHERYL ACETATE), MIXED TOCOPHEROL CONCENTRATE, VITAMIN K (PHYTONADIONE), ASCORBYL PALMITATE, THIAMINE HYDROCHLORIDE, RIBOFLAVIN, PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE, CYANOCOBALAMIN, NIACINAMIDE, FOLIC ACID, CALCIUM PANTOTHENATE, BIOTIN, ASCORBIC ACID, CHOLINE BITARTRATE, INOSITOL, CALCIUM HYDROXIDE, CALCIUM PHOSPHATE, FERROUS SULFATE, ZINC SULFATE, MANGANESE SULFATE, CUPRIC SULFATE, MAGNESIUM CHLORIDE, POTASSIUM BICARBONATE, POTASSIUM CHLORIDE, POTASSIUM IODIDE, SODIUM SELENITE, SODIUM CITRATE, TAURINE, ORGANIC SOY LECITHIN. Total of 12.
Burt’s Bees Baby Organic Infant Formula: organic lactose, organic partially hydrolyzed whey protein, organic palm oil or palm olein, organic soy oil, organic coconut oil, organic high oleic (safflower or sunflower) oil, less than 1%: mortierella alpina oil**, schizochytrium sp. oil*, vitamin a palmitate, beta-carotene, vitamin d (cholecalciferol), vitamin e (dl-alpha tocopheryl acetate), mixed tocopherol concentrate, vitamin k (phytonadione), ascorbyl palmitate, thiamine hydrochloride, riboflavin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, cyanocobalamin, niacinamide, folic acid, calcium pantothenate, biotin, ascorbic acid, choline bitartrate, inositol, calcium carbonate, calcium chloride, calcium hydroxide, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, manganese sulfate, cupric sulfate, magnesium chloride, potassium bicarbonate, potassium phosphate, potassium hydroxide, potassium iodide, sodium selenite, sodium citrate, taurine, organic soy lecithin. Contains milk and soy. **A source of arachidonic acid (ARA) *A source of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
Honest Company Organic Baby Formula: Organic Nonfat Milk, Organic Lactose, Organic Glucose Syrup Solids, Organic Palm Oil Or Palm Olein, Organic Soy Oil, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic High Oleic (Safflower or Sunflower) Oil, Organic Whey Protein Concentrate, Less Than 1%: Organic Soy Lecithin, Taurine, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Mixed Tocopherol Concentrate, Calcium Hydroxide, Calcium Phosphate, Cupric Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Magnesium Phosphate, Manganese Sulfate, Potassium Bicarbonate, Potassium Chloride, Potassium Iodide, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Selenite, Zinc Sulfate, Ascorbic Acid, Beta-Carotene, Biotin, Calcium Pantothenate, Choline Bitartrate, Cyanocobalamin, Folic Acid, Inositol, Niacinamide, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Thiamine Hydrochloride, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D (Cholecalciferol), Vitamin E (Dl-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate), Vitamin K (Phytonadione). Total of 10.
Happy Baby Stage 1 Infant Formula: ORGANIC LACTOSE, ORGANIC NONFAT MILK, ORGANIC PALM OLEIN OR PALM OIL, ORGANIC SOY OIL, ORGANIC COCONUT OIL, ORGANIC HIGH OLEIC (SAFFLOWER OR SUNFLOWER) OIL, ORGANIC GALACTOOLIGOSACCHARIDES (GOS)§, ORGANIC WHEY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, LESS THAN 1%: FRUCTOOLIGOSACCHARIDE (FOS)§, CHOLINE BITARTRATE, POTASSIUM CHLORIDE, ORGANIC SOY LECITHIN, CALCIUM HYDROXIDE, MORTIERELLA ALPINA OIL†, CALCIUM PHOSPHATE, SODIUM CITRATE, ASCORBIC ACID, MAGNESIUM CHLORIDE, CRYPTHECODINIUM COHNII OIL‡, POTASSIUM BICARBONATE, INOSITOL, ASCORBYL PALMITATE, FERROUS SULFATE, ZINC SULFATE, MIXED TOCOPHEROL CONCENTRATE, VITAMIN E (dl-ALPHA TOCOPHERYL ACETATE), NIACINAMIDE, CALCIUM PANTOTHENATE, CUPRIC SULFATE, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, RIBOFLAVIN, THIAMINE HYDROCHLORIDE, PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE, MANGANESE SULFATE, BETA-CAROTENE, POTASSIUM IODIDE, FOLIC ACID, VITAMIN K (PHYTONADIONE), BIOTIN, SODIUM SELENITE, VITAMIN D (CHOLECALCIFEROL), CYANOCOBALAMIN. Total of 11.
Nanny Care Stage 1 First Infant Goat Formula: PASTEURISED GOAT MILK SOLIDS, LACTOSE (FROM MILK), VEGETABLE OILS (HIGH OLEIC SUNFLOWER, RAPESEED, SUNFLOWER), MINERALS, VITAMINS, ACIDITY REGULATOR (CITRIC ACID), CHOLINE CHLORIDE, ANTIOXIDANT (SUNFLOWER LECITHIN), L-TRYPTOPHAN, L-ISOLEUCINE, TAURINE, L-CARNITINE, ANTIOXIDANT (TOCOPHEROL-RICH EXTRACT), ASCORBIC ACID, DL-Α-TOCOPHERYL ACETATE, NICOTINAMIDE, RETINYL ACETATE, CHOLECALCIFEROL, CALCIUM D-PANTOTHENATE, PHYTONADIONE, CYANOCOBALAMIN, THIAMIN HYDROCHLORIDE, RIBOFLAVIN, PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE, FOLIC ACID, BIOTIN, CALCIUM HYDROXIDE, SODIUM CITRATE, POTASSIUM CHLORIDE, FERROUS SULPHATE, CALCIUM CITRATE, ZINC SULPHATE, COPPER SULPHATE, MANGANESE SULPHATE, POTASSIUM IODIDE, SODIUM SELENITE. Total of 8.
Best Organic Infant Formulas
These brands have 7 or less ingredients not allowable in organic food (from the original organic standards). Most of them contain only 2-3. I’m sorry to say that we haven’t found an organic formula that passes the organic standards. Do with that what you may, but we still wanted to show you the differences. Understand that the laws of the European Union are different than the United States, so purchasing European formula gets you closer to real organic. But none of these brands are perfect either. One other thing to note is that label disclosure in Europe is different than the United States, so we can’t be sure if Vitamin D is from a natural source or not in the European versions. However, even if the Vitamin D was from a synthetic source, each brand would still qualify for this category. These brands are linked up in case you would like to purchase them.
Holle Stage 1 Organic Formula: Skimmed milk** (Germany), whey powder* partly demineralised, vegetable oils* (palm oil*, rapeseed oil*, sunflower oil*), maltodextrin*, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, sodium chloride, vitamin C, vitamin E, ferrous lactate, zinc sulphate, niacin, Calcium-D-pantothenate, copper sulphate, vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, manganese sulphate, potassium iodate, folic acid, vitamin K, sodium selenate, vitamin D *from organic farming **from biodynamic farming (Demeter quality). Total of 2. (Use coupon code “MAMAVATION10” for 10% off this product.)
HiPP Dutch Stage 1 Organic Formula: Skimmed milk *, whey product *, vegetable oils * (palm oil*, rapeseed oil *, sunflower oil *), Starch *, galactooligosaccharides from lactose, calcium carbonate, LCP¹ oils (fish oil, vegetable oil from M. alpina), potassium chloride, L-tyrosine, vitamin C, L-tryptophan, iron sulfate, zinc sulfate, vitamin E, stabilizer lactic acid, natural Lactic acid culture (Lactobacillus fermentum hereditum ® ) 2 , Niacin, pantothenic acid, Copper Lysine Complex, Vitamin A, Vitamin B 1, vitamin B 6, manganese sulfate, potassium iodate, vitamin B 2, sodium selenate, folic acid, vitamin K, biotin, vitamin D, vitamin B12. 1 LCP (Omega -3 and -6) = long-chain, 2 Lactobacillus fermentum CECT5716 Polyunsaturated fatty acids * organic palm oil from sustainable cultivation,* organically produced certified by independent inspection bodies (Total of 3) (Use coupon code “MAMAVATION10” for 10% off this product.)
Lebenswert Bio Organic Infant Formula: ORGANIC SKIMMED MILK, ORGANIC WHEY POWDER (PARTIALLY DEMINERALIZED), ORGANIC VEGETABLE OILS [ORGANIC PALM OIL, ORGANIC RAPESEED OIL, ORGANIC SUNFLOWER OIL], ORGANIC LACTOSE, POTASSIUM CHLORIDE, CALCIUM CARBONATE, VITAMIN C, SODIUM CHLORIDE, IRON GLUCONATE, VITAMIN E, ZINC SULFATE, NIACIN, CALCIUM PANTOTHENATE, COPPER SULFATE, VITAMIN B1, VITAMIN A, VITAMIN B6, FOLIC ACID, MANGANESE SULFATE, POTASSIUM IODIDE, VITAMIN K1, SODIUM SELENATE, VITAMIN D. Total of 2. (Use coupon code “MAMAVATION10” for 10% off this product.)
Topfer Stage 1 Lactana Organic Infant Formula: ORGANIC SKIMMED MILK FROM ALLGÄU, ORGANIC WHEY POWDER (PARTLY DEMINERALIZED), ORGANIC VEGETABLE OILS (ORGANIC PALM OIL FROM SUSTAINABLE CULTIVATION, ORGANIC RAPESEED OIL, ORGANIC SUNFLOWER OIL), ORGANIC MALTODEXTRIN, ORGANIC SKIMMED MILK POWDER, MORTIERELLA ALPINA OIL, FISH OIL, CALCIUM CARBONATE, POTASSIUM CHLORIDE, VITAMIN C, SODIUM CHLORIDE, VITAMIN E, BIFIDOBACTERIA CULTURES (BIFIDOBACTERIUM BREVE, BIFIDOBACTERIUM BIFIDUM, BIFIDOBACTERIUM INFANTIS, BIFIDOBACTERIUM LONGUM), IRON LACTATE, ZINC SULFATE, NIACIN, CALCIUM D-PANTOTHENATE, COPPER SULFATE, VITAMIN A, VITAMIN B1, VITAMIN B6, MANGANESE SULFATE, POTASSIUM IODATE, FOLIC ACID, VITAMIN K, SODIUM SELENATE, VITAMIN D. (Total of 3)
Baby’s Only Organic Toddler Premium Formula: Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Organic Nonfat Milk, Organic High Oleic Oil (Organic High Oleic Sunflower And/or Organic High Oleic Safflower Oils), Organic Soybean Oil, Organic Coconut Oil, Contains Less Than 1%: Organic Egg Lecithin, Organic Vanilla Potassium Citrate, Calcium Ascorbate, Calcium Citrate, Ferrous Sulfate, Inositol, Vitamin C Palmitate, D-alpha Tocopheryl Acetate, Natural Mixed Tocopherols, Zinc Sulfate, Egg Lecithin, Niacinamide, Vitamin A, Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamin Hydrochloride, Copper Sulfate, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Phylloquinone, Potassium Iodide, Sodium Selenate, Biotin, Vitamin D3, Vitamin B12. (Total of 4)
Kabrita Toddler Goat Milk Toddler Formula: (not certified organic, but we included this one anyway) Lactose (Milk), Nonfat Dry Goat Milk, Goat Whey Protein Concentrate Powder (Milk), High sn2-Palmitic Acid Oil, Soybean Oil*, Galacto-oligosaccharides (Milk), Palm Kernel Oil, Sunflower Oil, and less than 1%: Tri Calcium Citrate, Mortierella Alpina Oil, Tri Sodium Citrate, Crypthecodinium Cohnii Oil, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Hydroxide, Choline Bitartrate, Sodium L-ascorbate, Choline Chloride, Ferrous Sulphate, L-ascorbic Acid, Zinc Sulphate, Vitamin E Acetate, Inositol, Niacinamide, Calcium Pantothenate, Cupric Sulphate, Retinyl Acetate, Thiamin Hydrochloride, Vitamin B6 Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Manganese Sulphate, Folic Acid, Potassium Iodide, Vitamin K1, D-biotin, Sodium Selenate, Vitamin D3, Cyanocobalamin. (Total of 6)
Other Options For Moms Who Don’t Want to Purchase Organic Formula
I get it. This sucks. But there are other options out there. There are actually more options today than when I was breastfeeding, so that’s great news to anyone reading this post today.
Please make sure to follow the instruction of your Pediatrician when feeding your baby. No matter how organic you want to be, there may be issues you are not aware of that may complicate the health of your baby. So always check all these recipes with your doctor. Below is the best recipe I’ve found on how to make infant formula.
But please DO NOT feed your baby any homemade vegan formulas. These have been known to harm children! I’m not joking.
Another option is human milk sharing! Now that we have social media, milk sharing has become easier to connect with safe donors. Check out “Human Milk 4 Human Babies” and “Eats on Feets.” There is also the Human Milk Banking Association of America for a map of local milk banks. But there are some risks you take when you give your child someone else’s breastmilk. Antibodies, white blood cells, and other immune components are transferred in human milk. Viruses and pharmaceutical medication can also be transferred into human milk. So here are some tips from The Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses.
- Get a complete health history from the donor mother. It is essential to understand the donor mother’s past and current medical history as well as lifestyle choices is essential. It is also acceptable for the mother to ask the donor mother for a copy of her serologic testing from pregnancy.
- Find out how the milk will be expressed, labeled, stored, and transported. The donor mother, first and foremost, should have an excess supply of milk that she does not need for her infant. When mothers express milk, care should be taken to ensure the safety of the milk. At our institution, we have mothers wash their pump equipment with hot, soapy water and rinse well after every use and have them sterilize the equipment daily.
- What types of containers will be used for storage (the recipient mother could supply these to the donor mother) and how will the milk be stored (fresh or frozen) and transported from the donor mother to the recipient. Conversations between the recipient mother and donor mother should be on-going to ensure the safety of the milk. In this area, the research literature has also evaluated the use of home heat treatment to “pasteurize” the milk. Research has shown that heat treatment of the milk on a stovetop is not the same as Holder pasteurization, this technique has the ability to destroy viruses. It is important to note that heat treatment also destroys some of the beneficial components of human milk.