Similac Baby Formula Also Drops GMOs

May 29, 2015 Updated: May 31, 2015

Similac Advance is the best-selling baby formula in the U.S., and it’s about to be GMO-free, too, parent company Abbott announced.

“We listen to moms and dads, and they’ve told us they want a non-GMO option,”  Chris Calamari, general manager of Abbott’s pediatric nutrition business told the New York Times. “We want to make sure we meet the desires of parents.”

The company will begin selling its GMO-free formula at Target stores later this month, with Similac Sensitive going GMO-free soon as well. And, says Abbott, based on sales for the two GMO-free versions, it may convert its other baby formulas to GMO-free as well.

According to Calamari, the company made the change not in response to a growing number of consumer petitions, but because of the company’s own research, which found that “Over one-third of consumers say [GMO-free formula] would have appeal to them and give them peace of mind.” 

Matt Conlin of Fluent, a consumer marketing group, agrees. He told the Times that the preference for non-G.M.O. products in particular “is more pronounced amongst shoppers with higher household incomes and with shoppers based in the Northeast.” And a recent online study conducted by the group found that as many as 1 in 5 adults prefer non-GMO products.

We listen to moms and dads, and they’ve told us they want a non-G.M.O. option.
— Chris Calamari, general manager of Abbott

With the change to Similac, Abbott joins an expanding list of brands dropping GMOs and other controversial ingredients from their offerings. 

“Consumer demand for such products has been growing, despite a concerted and expensive effort by trade groups representing major food manufacturers and the biotech industry to convince them that genetically altered ingredients are not harmful to human health,” reports the Times.

Baby formulas are typically made with corn- and soy-based ingredients. And conventional dairy-based formulas will typically contain milk products from cows who were raised on genetically modified livestock feed, including alfalfa, corn and soy.

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