Abbott recalls beetle-tainted Similac baby formula

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By Ransdell Pierson

NEW YORK | Wed Sep 22, 2010 4:49pm EDT

(Reuters) – Abbott Laboratories Inc said it is voluntarily recalling millions of containers of its top-selling Similac powdered infant formulas after beetles were found in the products and in a Michigan plant where they are made.

Abbott said on Wednesday that the recall, which could result in $100 million of lost revenue, comes after reports by two consumers of contamination, and its inspection of an area of the plant in Sturgis, Michigan, where beetles or their larvae were found.

“The decision to recall the products was made in advance of the two consumer reports, which are being investigated,” said Abbott spokeswoman Melissa Brotz.

Brotz said fewer than 5 million units of Similac are being recalled in the United States, Guam, Puerto Rico and other Caribbean markets.

“When we identified this, we did extensive testing of every product on the (factory) line, and more than 99.8 percent of the product was negative” for beetle contamination, Brotz said. She noted that liquid forms of Similac have not been affected or recalled.

But all powdered product made on the Michigan factory line is being recalled due to the remote possibility of contamination, said Brotz. She described the pest as a common beetle indigenous to houses, office buildings and grocery stores.

Similac competes with Mead Johnson Nutrition Co’s Enfamil infant formula. While shares of Abbott were little changed in late afternoon trading, Mead Johnson rose 1.7 percent.

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has determined that while the formula containing these beetles poses no immediate health risk, there is a possibility that infants who consume formula containing the beetles or their larvae could experience symptoms of gastrointestinal discomfort and refusal to eat,” Abbott said.

The recalled products involve powdered Similac in plastic containers, and in 8-ounce, 12.4-ounce and 12.9-ounce cans.

Other Abbott factories will step up production of powdered and liquid forms of Similac to help meet consumer demand for infant formula until the Michigan plant resumes production.

Abbott, which said it has had no major product recalls in recent years, estimated that third-quarter company revenue will be reduced by about $100 million due to sales returns.

Abbott, which has annual sales of about $35 billion, reaffirmed its quarterly and full-year profit forecasts.

The suburban Chicago company is often compared to Johnson & Johnson because they both sell a diverse array of consumer products, prescription drugs and medical devices.

J&J has been hounded by repeated massive recalls in the past year — of its Tylenol and Motrin painkillers and its Benadryl allergy treatment — that have tarnished its reputation and sparked a U.S. congressional probe.


One Million Campaign

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Globally 3.6 million Infants die before they reach their first birthday and millions are malnourished because of inadequate and inappropriate breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices.

Most effective interventions to save babies’ lives and prevent malnutrition is to enhance early and exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, and good complementary feeding thereafter along with continued breastfeeding. For this, women needed to be supported.

The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki- moon will launch the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health at a special event during the MDG Summit in New York on 22 September.

Let’s call upon the UN Secretary General to ensure support to women.

SEIZE THE MOMENT and raise your voice.

Sign and send  the petition to the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki – moon to urge him to include specific budgetary support for adequate maternity benefits and entitlements, skilled counseling in health systems, in order to make it possible for women to breastfeed successfully.


JUST A FEW days left  ACT NOW and ASK 10 of your YOUR FRIENDS TO SIGN UP AS WELL ! DEFINITELY BY 16 September!!

Thanks !!

Team One Million Campaign


WBW2010 Event Summary by MMPS Penang

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WBW2010 Event Summary by MMPS Penang 

 The first week in August is always World Breastfeeding Week. In conjunction with this, the Mother to Mother Peer Support (MMPS) Penang group organized an event at the Disted College, on the 7th of August 2010, 3-5pm. 

Taken during WBW2010 event by MMPS on 7th August 2010 at Disted College

Key programs during WBW2010 event by MMPS on 7th August 2010

 There was an interesting performance by “Top Kids” kindergarten students;  a mother & baby dance led by a professional dancer from WABA & a briefing by our advisor Dr.Balkees Abdul Majeed regarding this year’s theme, Breastfeeding:- Just 10 steps- the Baby Friendly Way.  

One Minute Simultaneous Breastfeeding

One Minute Simultaneous Breastfeeding

 The highlight of the event was our annual One Minute Simultaneous Breastfeeding. This year we had mothers participated at the event and also from their own locations.  We had numerous hospitals co-hosting the event in their maternity wards/nurseries. 

The “One Minute” was held at exactly 3:30pm. Around 3:15pm mothers were gathered at the front of the hall & some favorite nursery rhymes were sung to calm and soothe both mothers and babies. The lyrics of the rhymes were modified in a breastfeeding-friendly way. We had almost 20 mothers participated at Disted college witness by Dr. Mehala Baskaran from Hospital Besar Pulau Pinang and Sarah Amin from WABA. The mothers whom participated from hospitals, home and other locations contacted us via sms and e-mail. 

The total number for 2010 was a fantastic 218 mothers; all breastfeeding their babies at the same time. Below is a list of the hospitals that participated and the names of mothers whom took part in the One Minute Simultaneous Breastfeeding.   

  Hospitals that participated    Mothers joined via SMS & e-mail
1 Hospital Tuanku Fauziah KANGAR 1 Nuruhaila bt Jamaludin
2 Hospital TAPAH 2 Chuah Yean Ping
3 Hospital KULIM 3 Nur Azwani Hasleem Bt Nasrun
4 JIA YI Confinement Centre 4 Roskhadijah Razali
5 Hospital KUALA KANGSAR 5 Chareen Loh Sing Chiet
6 Hospital BATU GAJAH 6 Shirley Lim Lian Huay
7 Metro Maternity 7 Sabrina bt Mohd Shapee
8 KS WAN &LIOW SMC 8 Sollehatun binti Ahmad Zubir
9 Hospital SUNGAI SIPUT 9 Aznor Hanah Abdul Halim
10 IPOH SPECIALIST Hospital 10 Vijaya a/p Nadarajan
11 PERAK COMMUNITY SPECIALIST 11 Nor Zarina binti Anuar
12 Hospital SERI MANJUNG 12 Jini Wong Mi-Li
13 Hospital PARIT BUNTAR 13 Nadia Omar
14 Hospital Seberang Jaya 14 Sara Russly
15 Gleneagles 15 Nisha a/p Ravewarma
   Mothers at Disted College  16 Tang Yan Jiun
1 Lim Siew Bee 17 Ooi Seow Li
2 Jennifer Dumo 18 Mardziah Md Lokman(Tandem Feeding)
3 Theng Pei Hua 19 Sharina Mat Lani
4 Siti Hajar 20 Dr.Ezura Madiana
5 Nooraiza 21 Salima Bt Salleh (Breastfed in car)
6 Shardiniah Mahmud 22 Aniza binti Isahak
7 Josephine Chin Yean Yean 23 Shakirah binti Ramli
8 Noor Erdawati 24 Hafizah binti Mavi c/o M.Ariffin
9 Halimatun Saadiah Muslim 25 Thilaga a/p  Arunasalam
10 Eunice Lim 26 Karen Ping Paren
11 Sarojini 27 Khor Tze Shin(Tandem Feeding)
12 Loh Lim Szv Fen    
13 Nur Zafifa Kamarunzaman    
14 R.Inthrakala    
15 Nurzalina Khan    
16 Joycelyn Lim    
17 Sabrina (Tandem Feeding)    
18 Vasumathi Muthuramu    
19 Tamilselvi Sivakumar    

  This event needed a lot of support from a lot of people. Our heart-felt thanks goes out to the following: 

  • YB Lydia Ong Kok Fooi (Penang State Exco)
  • WABA (World Alliance of Breastfeeding Action)
  • Dr. Mehala Baskaran (Penang General Hospital)
  • Kemuncak Holdings
  • Disted College
  • Top Kids Kindergarten
  • Melody Kindyland, D’Monte Kindergarten & Koala Kids Enrichment Centre
  • USM lady volunteers
  • MMPS mother’s Husbands
  • Star Newspaper

 This is not everyone who has helped, there are many more. To those who are not listed here, we thank you for your time, efforts and support. 

We have compiled a small booklet consisting stories from mothers (predominantly MMPS so far) about their breastfeeding experiences; it is a simple compilation which we hope will serve to encourage and reassure mothers-to-be and mothers alike. We would like to hear your trails, tribulations, successes and failures. Please send your short stories to us at: . We will also take hand-written stories during our monthly meetings at Koala Kids, 1st floor YMCA, Macalister Road, Penang held every first Saturday of the month from 3pm until 4pm. Visit our Facebook site for more event photos 

We hope to see more babies being breastfed!