Monday, May 25, 2009

Martek hexane-derived DHA manufacture may have resulted in fire?

I don't know how to verify this, but I read a report that the Kentucky State Fire Marshall confirmed that a 2003 explosion of a wastewater pretreatment facility was the result of the Martek Biosciences Corporation releasing hexane from its plant. Martek was using these chemicals to produce DHA.

While DHA is a natural ingredient found in human breastmilk that promotes eye and brain development, the Martek product is not natural, but chemically derived from dried biomass, algae, I believe.

Can anyone confirm or refute this report?

Friday, May 22, 2009

More on PBM...

Joe Shields, who is director of public relations for PBM, got back to me, providing the following additional information:

"Thank you for reaching out to PBM regarding the responsible marketing of infant formula.... I just posted a formal response to a May 15 blog posting on the site [Note from blogger: unfortunately, it is too long for blogspot, so I am including some of it here.] for the organization’s consideration ....We believe that mother’s milk is the best source of nutrition for babies. Moms should try breastfeeding because it is considered best for babies by our company and leading experts. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics recognizes it as the gold standard in infant nutrition....If parents choose to supplement mother’s milk with baby formula, we believe they should not have to overpay for formula. That’s why we make store-brand formulas for retailers many leading store-brand formulas cost up to 50% less than national brands. In fact, parents can save up to $600 a year by choosing a retailer’s store brand infant formula...The reason why our store-brand infant formulas are less expensive is because we do not give out free formula to hospitals. [Bolds added] We believe only mothers and health-care professionals should make infant-feeding decisions, which is why we do not want to influence that decision-making process at the time of birth."

I am going to be in contact - maybe we can get Marsha involved - and will keep you posted!

Friday, May 15, 2009

BFing good for moms - fine brief by our friend Joan Meek

Who is this masked man?

"Baby Food Co. Seeks To Bar Nestle's Use Of 'Gentle'...Law360, New York (May 13, 2009) -- Infant formula maker PBM Products LLC has asked a federal court to bar Nestle SA and its Gerber Products Co. unit from using the trademarks "gentle" or "gentle plus" to sell baby formula while PBM pursues its case accusing the Swiss company of infringing the three-year-old mark."

Those of us who grew up in the era of Superman and Zorro know that an ostensibly meek and mild character can put on a mask and become a major force for good.

Who is this PBM who is taking on the giants?

From their website I learned that they live in the land of Ben and Jerry's, otherwise known as Vermont, and state: PBM Nutritionals is the only infant formula facility in the US that adheres to both FDA guidelines and a stringent set of quality-assurance regulations set by the International Organization for Standardization.

So I thought I would give them a call and discuss the Code...and I found a very friendly group!
I will keep you posted...