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European Baby Formula vs. American Formula: What You Need to Know

European Baby Formula vs. American Formula: What You Need to Know

As European baby formula becomes more popular in the US, some parents are going to great lengths to buy it for their little ones. It may seem like a trendy option, but is it really a good decision for your baby?

European baby formula vs. American: What you should consider

European baby formulas are not reviewed by the FDA.

While American parents are buying European formula brands like HiPP and Holle, there’s a lot to consider before hopping on the European baby formula bandwagon. To start, European baby formulas are not reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration. The American Academy of Pediatrics has reported concerns over the use of non-FDA registered imported infant formulas.

“[Infant formula] has to be absolutely nutritionally complete and handled in a very safe way, from the moment of manufacture to the moment it gets into their house and into the baby. The laws and the rules exist for a reason. And that’s because even a single mistake in any of this will just have terrible outcomes for babies.”

Dr. Steven Abrams
Chair of the committee on nutrition at the American Academy of Pediatrics and director of the Dell Pediatric Research Institute in Austin, Tex. in the NY Times

European baby formulas do not have official US distribution channels.

Since European baby formula isn’t registered with the FDA, some brands like HiPP, Holle and Töpher do not have official retail distribution channels in the US. This means that these products are being purchased by individuals and then re-sold through third-party sellers.

“If you’re getting [European formulas] from the internet, you don’t know where they’ve been stored, you don’t know how they’ve been transported. You don’t know whether they’re going to last until their expiration date if they’ve been held at very high heat.”

Marion Groetch
Director of nutrition services at the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City

Due to third-party vendors, European formula may not be properly stored.

Another concern is that there is no way to know if the product was properly stored, which can increase the risk for contamination. Special care is needed when it comes to your little one’s formula.

You may not know if your formula has been recalled.

Lastly, the FDA does not monitor products that have been recalled internationally. This means that there’s a chance you could be unknowingly feeding your baby recalled formula. While recalls may be rare, this information is important to keep your little one safe and healthy.

While European baby formula brands may be desired by some, people should consider FDA oversight (or lack thereof) and the security of distribution before making your formula purchase decision. If you’re looking for a formula that has milk proteins sourced from grass-fed European cows, but is made in the United States, Enfamil PREMIUM™ A2 Infant Formula may be a good choice for your little one.