At Least Baby Food Is Safe…Right?

Legislation like Rep. Kucinich’s (see our other article in this issue) is desperately needed as GMO infiltrates more and more products. But the big shocker is that it’s now even in organic baby food! As Mike Adams pointed out, Martek Biosciences’ synthetic forms ofDHA and ARA oils (docosahexaenoic acid and arachidonic acid—polyunsaturated omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids naturally present in breast milk) are genetically engineered—and now being added to organic infant formula, not to mention hundreds of other USDA Certified Organic products as well.

In 2006, National Organic Program (NOP) staff told Martek that the DHA and ARA couldn’t be in organic food because they were synthetic, genetically engineered, and did not qualify as organic. Martek was able to reverse that decision with a simple phone call to NOP acting director Barbara Robinson—though no one knew about the reversal until three years later when the Washington Post broke the story.

Martek then formally petitioned the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). Shockingly, in a board meeting two weeks ago, the NOSB recommended that DHA and ARA oils be added to the Certified Organic list—so long as they are not extracted with the use of the toxic and air polluting petrochemical hexane.

What baby formulas are affected?

  • Earth’s Best Organic Soy with DHA & ARA (Hain Celestial Group)
  • Enfamil LIPIL (Mead Johnson Nutritionals)
  • Enfamil Next Step (Mead Johnson)
  • Isomil 2 Advance (Abbott Laboratories)
  • Nestle Good Start Supreme with DHA & ARA (Nestle USA)
  • Parent’s Choice Organic (Wal-Mart)
  • Similac Advance (Abbott Nutrition)
  • Ultra Bright Beginnings Lipids (PBM Products, LLC)

(Source: Natural News)

Among other problems, this still allows usage of other chemical solvents in the manufacturing process, which is counter to organic standards.The Cornucopia Institute points out that prohibiting only hexane, instead of all synthetic solvents, could potentially lead Martek to use even more dangerous solvents, like acetone or benzene, to manufacture their nutritional oils for use in organic infant formula. If they were to ban all synthetic chemical solvents, it would effectively work as a ban on DHA and ARA oils, because there would be no way to extract those ingredients.

As things stand now, the DHA and ARA oils are, as the Organic Consumers Association put it, produced through genetic engineering, processed with volatile synthetic solvents, and microencapsulated—three things that are expressly banned from USDA Organic!

There is hope, however: the decision is not yet final. The NOSB is an advisory body only; the next step in the process is for the NOP to take the NOSB’s recommendations through the rulemaking process, where there will be an opportunity for public comment.

There is no specific timeline for the NOP to go through this rulemaking procedure. It could take six months or longer, so we have a window of opportunity.

Please contact the National Organics Program immediately and ask them to reject the NOSB’s recommendation on DHA and ARA. GMO and synthetic chemical solvents have no place in organic food, much less baby food, and should be banned immediately, not allowed to remain while the rulemaking process lumbers on. Please take action today!

This article is republished with permission from the Alliance for Natural Health USA, December  21, 2011. Go straight to the source.