Similac's organic baby formula, which sells for as much as 30% more than the regular version, contains added cane sugar, according to an article in the New York Times.
Mothers who choose not to or can't breastfeed, may opt for the organic formula because they perceive it to be healthier. That may be true of other brands, but Similac's organic formula, which was launched in 2006 by Abbott Laboratories, is the only national brand with cane sugar. Sucrose sweetened formulas have been banned in Europe.
While there haven't been any reports of adverse health effects, pediatricians cautioned that the sweeter taste of the formula might make babies turn up their noses to other foods without as much sugar. Babies might also overeat because they like the taste so much, and it could harm their tooth enamel.
Not surprisingly, the news has rekindled the ongoing debate in the blogosphere over the breast versus bottle controversy. Given the choice between spending $30 for a 25-ounce can of sugar-laden Similac and free breastmilk, this round goes to the nursing moms.
Michele Turk is a journalist and author whose book, Blood, Sweat and Tears: An Oral History of the American Red Cross, was published in 2006. She recently founded e street press, a self-publishing company.