It seems appropriate that in the time in between both Mother’s and Father’s Day, Similac, owned by Abbott Nutrition, announces it is removing GMOs from a version of Similac Advance followed by a non-GMO version of Similac Sensitive.
These great transitions would not be taking place if it were not for GMO Insiders like you. Two years ago, GMO Inside joined forces with Leah Segedie of Mamavation, launching a campaign to push Similac’s parent company Abbott Nutrition (as well as competitors, Enfamil and Gerber Good Start) to remove GMOs from its infant formula. Tens of thousands of you took action through petitions, social media, and call-in days to demand better for parents and children. Consumer pressure was joined by concern from investors working with As You Sow, which highlighted the risk to Abbott of not offering non-GMO formula to parents. From day one parents should have the option to provide their children with non-GMO products that support healthier people and planet. It is because of your great work that this choice is becoming a reality.
It is unclear the long term health implications that GMOs will have on people and planet, especially during children’s early developmental years. Already evidence shows that GMOs are increasing the use of toxic herbicides due to the development of herbicide-resistant weeds. Most recently, glyphosate (key ingredient in Roundup), which is commonly used on GMO crops, was deemed a probable carcinogen by the World Health Organization. Parents deserve better for their children’s health and they are demanding it. According to the company, “we listen to moms and dads, and they’ve told us they want a non-G.M.O. option,” said Chris Calamari, general manager of Abbott’s pediatric nutrition business. “We want to make sure we meet the desires of parents.”
Removing GMOs is a great first step but truly providing peace of mind to parents requires third-party verification. “As a Mom I’m pleased to see this first step from Similac removing GMOs from their advanced formula. I stand with millions of parents demanding mandatory GMO labeling in all foods and that GMOs be removed from infant formulas. In order to prove what they are saying, I encourage them to get Non-GMO Project Verified so parents across the country can trust in their product,” said Leah Segedie.
GMO Inside applauds Abbott’s efforts and hopes to see it transition more of its infant formulas to non-GMO. As one of the top producers of infant formula, this transition will hopefully push the company’s competitors to follow suit, providing more non-GMO varieties of infant formula.
Read Green America’s official statement on the victory here.