FDA enhances rules for infant formula

The New York Times reports the FDA “updated” requirements related to safety procedures for infant formula. Under the new rules, companies will have to strengthen “their quality control procedures and reporting requirements.” Although many firms already meet those requirements, the rule “will give the agency more control over enforcing them.”

Specifically, FDA now will have rules spelled out “that ensure formula manufacturers test their products for salmonella and other pathogens before distribution,” reports the AP. The AP says the rules also mandate “formula companies to prove to the FDA” that they have added specific nutrients such as proteins, vitamins and minerals to their products. “The FDA sets high quality standards for infant formulas because nutritional deficiencies during this critical time of development can have a significant impact on a child’s long-term health and well-being,” Michael Taylor, the FDA’s deputy commissioner for foods, said.

CQ highlights the estimated costs stemming from implementing the new rules, it would amount to $7.29 million in the first year and a little more than $4 million in subsequent years. “Yet the estimated benefit to public health” is $10 million a year, “resulting in total net benefits of $2.71 million in the first year and $5.94 million in subsequent years,” CQ reports.

The FDA said “much of the estimated benefit would come from preventing cases of cronobacter.”

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