Health Canada Raises Concerns About the Use of Homemade Infant Formulas

Starting date:
November 26, 2014
Type of communication:
Advisory
Subcategory:
Affects children, pregnant or breast feeding women
Source of recall:
Health Canada
Identification number:
RA-42687

Issue

Health Canada advises Canadian parents and caregivers of the potential health risks associated with homemade infant formulas.

What you should do

Health Canada strongly supports breastfeeding and promotes it as the normal and most beneficial method of feeding infants for normal growth, health and development. For babies that are not breastfed or receiving breastmilk, Health Canada recommends only commercial infant formula as a substitute.

Health Canada, the Canadian Paediatric Society, and the Dietitians of Canada do not endorse the use of any homemade infant formulas. Homemade infant formulas may not provide the proper balance of nutrients that infants need. Health Canada recommends that Canadians consult their health care professional if they have questions about breastfeeding or if they are considering using infant formulas as a breastmilk substitute.

Who is affected

Homemade infant formulas can cause severe malnutrition and potentially fatal illness in infants.

Background

All commercial infant formulas must undergo a full safety and nutritional quality assessment by Health Canada before they can be sold. Formula companies must provide scientific evidence that their products support healthy growth in infants and do not pose chemical or microbiological risks. Formula companies are also required to meet standards for the nutritional content of infant formulas, which include energy, protein, fats, vitamins and mineral nutrients. All manufacturers, importers and distributers of infant formula are responsible for ensuring that their products comply with Canadian legislation.

Media enquiries

Health Canada
(613) 957-2983

Public enquiries

(613) 957-2991
1-866 225-0709