“I know firsthand they failed”: Parents bemoan FDA’s lack of infant formula safety measures

When asked by POLITICO, CDC declined to say whether the agency supports Cronobacter’s listing, instead saying the agency supports the CSTE process.

“The CDC continues to work with state partners on all aspects of Cronobacter surveillance, including improving case reporting mechanisms, notification deadlines, laboratory testing methods, outbreak response and disease prevention,” a spokesman said.

A very real obstacle to moving this forward is the fact that state and local infectious disease officials are saying so have run into the ground after almost three years of fighting the pandemic. The idea of ​​adding something new to the workload isn’t popular, especially without new funds to help struggling health departments. Still, proponents see this as an excellent opportunity to address the lack of reporting for Cronobacter, something they wish they could have addressed years ago.

“If there is a unified voice, FDA, CDC and, more importantly, consumers, then they should be added to the list,” Baum said. “We need to focus on consumers and their expectations – and making sure what they’re feeding their babies is safe.”

On December 11, another formula maker, ByHeart, recalled five batches of formula after a third-party test found Cronobacter sakazakii. The company said it had not received any reports of illness, but the news shook parents again.

Deborah Rossick, a mother of two in Lakeland, Fla., is now following the news surrounding formula recalls closely. She documents exactly what doses she uses for her daughter, Arya, who developed a bacterial meningitis infection in October 2021, around the same time the other infants were called in sick after eating Sturgis-made infant formula, though health officials are after Knowing the family doesn’t do this Consider their case in the context of others.

At the time, Rossick said, Arya was on EleCare, a hypoallergenic formula made at the Sturgis plant and later recalled. Arya was diagnosed with Salmonella, but her family believes she likely also had Cronobacter based on blood tests they later checked. Arya had such severe brain swelling that she was in a coma for nine days and almost didn’t survive. She suffered neurological damage and is now almost completely blind deaf, has cerebral palsy, a severe form of epilepsy and is in different therapies several times a week.

“Had they told the public about the possible contamination in September, we would have known we were looking for Cronobacter,” Rossick said. “Every day I searched the internet for anything related to formulas. It wasn’t until February that I learned that Arya’s formula was being recalled.”

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