Risk-based safety assessment needed for ingredient in NZ baby formula

Tuesday, 17 July, 2007

The acting chief executive, Director-General of the New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA) for purpose of section 37 of the Food Act 1981, is advising parents and caregivers that Nutricia Karicare Gold Plus Infant Formula and Follow-On Formula both contain added substances called fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS).

FOS has not been subject to the required risk-based safety assessment for the purposes of permitting the addition to infant formula products for sale in New Zealand. In the absence of such a safety assessment, NZFSA is taking a cautionary approach to this situation, particularly for New Zealand infants who may consume them as their total dietary intake.

FOS does occur naturally in a range of plants but can also be synthetically produced. Prebiotics may assist infants in achieving softer, looser and more frequent bowel motions.

Until there has been an opportunity to fully assess all safety implications associated with the inclusion of FOS in infant formula products under New Zealand conditions, NZFSA recommends that parents and caregivers with infants consuming either Nutricia Karicare Gold Plus Infant Formula or Follow-On Formula gradually change to an alternative product.

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