Parents cry foul over new formula recipe

Nestle NAN H.A 1 Gold ... New formula making babies sick, some say.
Nestle NAN H.A 1 Gold ... New formula making babies sick, some say. 

Nestle’s baby formula is under the spotlight amid reports that it is causing illness and agitation in children.

Parents on an Australian product review site began posting messages about Nestle NAN H.A 1 Gold six weeks ago, saying that the formula was causing a variety of symptoms in their children, including dark green watery poo, vomiting, rashes and dehydration.

The comments coincided with the release of a ‘new improved’ recipe for the formula, in which calcium chloride was swapped for potassium chloride.

Members of the Essential Baby forum were divided in their reaction to the new formula. One forum user, Motherly-Love!, reported that her child had a bad reaction to the new formula, writing, “My baby had green watery poo, pains, sick and started throwing up, got rashes and allergic reactions.”

But for many other forum users, such as Cappie, the change was unremarkable. “I haven't noticed any change with the new formula other than it seems to be easier to mix in with the water,” she wrote.

On the product review site, however, the majority of reactions were negative. One mum even reported that her child had been hospitalized for dehydration as a result of the formula change, writing, “[My baby] had stinky green poo for a week before she got so dehydrated from the vomiting that she was placed on a feeding tube with hydralite.”

In a statement to Essential Baby, Nestle external relations manager Margaret Stuart said the recipe had been changed to offer a better taste and smoother texture, and that it was in line with "the most recent recommendations from paediatricians".

"We have strict quality control procedures in place throughout the manufacturing process to ensure our products meet the highest standards of quality and safety," she said. "We have run further tests on NAN HA in Australia, using an independent laboratory. The results we have to date confirm there is no food safety issue."

Stuart added that the company takes consumer complaints very seriously, and that "the safety and quality of [their] products is a non-negotiable priority for the company".