Milk or soy protein is the basis of most infant formulas. The secret ingredients in these products are often soy, or milk from cows injected with rbGH. Many brands also add GMO-derived corn syrup, corn syrup solids, or soy lecithin.
For the infant that is unable to nurse, formula is the next best choice. But whether to use a home-prepared formula or a commercial brand depends on many factors. While there are several formulas to choose from, first and foremost, the formula should be organic. Because of the toxic effects of herbicides, particularly glyphosate (due to its prolific usage) as well as other organophosphates and genetically engineered foods [in non-organic commercial formulas], these are not an option for infant feeding.
Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, the inert ingredients in Roundup, as well as Roundup ready seeds (which do not perish under increased spraying of the herbicide) have been shown clearly to have profound toxicity on health. One particular issue is that it eliminates beneficial bacteria [in our intestines]. More pathologic bacteria that can reside in our intestines have been shown to be resistant to its effects and can thrive. The beneficial bacterial play a key role in many important functions in the body, particularly immune function.
Why Soy Formula is So Dangerous for Babies
The primary problems with soy formula are threefold: trypsin inhibitors, phytic acid and worst of all: phytoestrogens.
Trypsin inhibitors are proteins found in plentiful amounts in soybeans that inhibit digestion and absorption of nutrients. They are large in size and require application of high heat for appreciable periods of time to neutralize.
The industrialized process of producing soy infant formula deactivates the majority of trypsin inhibitors. Unfortunately, some remain and even in low amounts, they have been found to prevent normal growth in rats. Given that a baby’s brain grows at its most rapid rate the first year of life, growing to about 75% percent of adult size (it is 25% of adult size at birth), even a slight retardation of growth could be devastating to development of the brain and nervous system.
Phytic acid is an organic acid, which like trypsin inhibitors, is present in large amounts in soybeans. Phytic acid is present in the outer portion of all seeds and blocks the absorption of critical minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron and particularly zinc.
Unlike other seeds, soybeans have extremely high amounts of a type of phytic acid that is particularly resistant to deactivation. Researchers testing soy formula in 1967 found that soy formula caused zinc deficiency in every single infant who received it.
Zinc is known as the intelligence mineral because it is critical for optimal development and functioning of the brain and nervous system. As a result, deficiency of this nutrient in infants at a time when the brain is growing at its most rapid rate could have lifelong implications and possibly reduce IQ.
Phytoestrogens or isoflavones represent the most serious problem with soy infant formula. These estrogen-like compounds have the potential to disrupt baby’s hormonal system for life.
Organic brand warning
Note: the “organic” brands of infant formula listed are not problem free. They often use ingredients that are classified as harmful to the environment, e.g. sodium selenite, or even classified as pesticides, e.g. cupric sulfate.
Why is cupric sulfate — a known herbicide, fungicide and pesticide — being used in infant formula? And why is it displayed proudly on product labels as a presumably nutritious ingredient?
Used to kill fungus, aquatic plants and roots of plants, parasitic infections in aquarium fish and snails, as well as algae and bacteria such as Escherichia coli, cupric sulfate hardly sounds fit for human consumption, much less for infants.
Indeed, infants are all too often looked at as “miniature adults” from the perspective of toxicological risk assessments, rather than what they are: disproportionately (if not exponentially) more susceptible to the adverse effects of environmental exposures. Instead of reducing or altogether eliminating avoidable infant chemical exposures (the precautionary principle), the chemical industry-friendly focus is always on determining “an acceptable level of harm”.