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Why Did Company Put Sucrose In Its Organic Baby Forumla?

Posted Oct 02 2008 3:12pm

Note from Connie: It's bad enough to always be on the alert for sugar in adult foods, but now baby foods have sugar added. Talk about disappointing news! Kudos toJulia Moskin of The New York Timesfor dishing the sour scoop about this. Jennifer Moore gives you more details.

Buyer beware: Just because something is labeled organic doesn't automatically make it the best thing for a person's health.

Case in point: Similac, a leading baby formula company, sweetens its line of organic formula with sugar derived from evaporated cane juice, according to an eye-opening article by Julia Moskin of The New York Times. (Full disclosure: In the 1990s, I was a co-worker of Moskin's at a publishing company.)

Why is sugar in baby formula a concern? Because, Moskin informs us, the cane sugar Similac uses is "significantly sweeter" than sugars in other brands of formula. What's more, Moskin found an expert who said research shows animals prefer sucrose to other forms of sugar. (The story didn't cite any specific studies, though).

Similac describes the sugar they use in their organic products as "safe and well established," having been approved by the F.D.A.

But the European Union is sufficiently concerned that sucrose-sweetend formuals will be banned in Europe by the 2009, except for severely allergic tots whose doctors orders these brands, Moskin reports.

So just how sweet in this Similac Organic stuff? The Times convened a panel of testers to taste it along with seven other formula brands, and they concluded that Similac's product was the sweetest of the bunch, "with the sweetness of grape juice or Country Time lemonade." Yikes!

Given our nation's obesity problem, it's really a shame that a company is plying infants with the sweetest sugar they can find. I'd advise parents who are trying to minimize their children's sugar intake to carefully read food labels, even those of organic foods.

Jennifer Moore for SUGAR SHOCK! Blog

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