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What Doctors Don't Tell You

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August 2018 (Vol. 3 Issue 6)

Nanny state

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We all know that breast is best for baby, and in fact it's best for far longer than the health professionals recommend

We all know that breast is best for baby, and in fact it's best for far longer than the health professionals recommend. But for a range of good reasons many parents supplement with cow's or soy formula. The trouble is that many infants are allergic to one or both of these - which is why the wisest of the wise have been supplementing with goat's milk formula (and we count ourselves among these after our adopted daughter Anya had rejected the breast).
But this option is likely to be taken away throughout Europe very shortly as the formula has not been proven to be safe to the satisfaction of the Euro health watchdogs (but then it's never been proven to be dangerous, which you'd think would amount to pretty much the same thing).
One of the most popular brands is a New Zealand product called Nanny, which has been distributed in Europe by Vitacare since 1992. Vitacare's two directors Clair Magee and Terry Biggart have been fighting the EU for a couple of years, but they recognize that time is running out for them and their many customers.
The story begins in 1995 with the introduction of the Infant Formula and Follow-on Formula Regulations. This covered all cow's and soy formula, but omitted goat's formula, which Vitacare was selling as a special food.
Not unreasonably perhaps, European officials felt that goat's formula should also be covered by the regulations, and asked the manufacturer to provide evidence of its safety and benefits. The manufacturer complied, and carried out a clinical study in Auckland that involved 36 infants. But the European Food Safety Authority in February rejected the results because the study failed to meet its criteria for a proper trial.
Now, in the very best traditions of the EU, it starts getting a bit Kafka-esque. According to the guidelines, the minimum number for a trial is 40 participants - except that these guidelines were issued only after the trial was completed. More troubling still, the guidelines have yet to be adopted. So the formula is to be removed on the basis of guidelines of which the manufacturer was unaware, and which are still to be approved.
Vitacare has the support of a leading paediatrician who maintains that the study is a valid trial, and shouldn't be rejected because it's short of four people.
So what can you do to help? If you're a practitioner who has direct evidence of the benefits of goat's milk formula, please e-mail Vitacare with any information you have, including case study notes. If Vitacare can prove its product is beneficial, it might win the argument on human rights grounds. Vitacare can be reached at: info@vitacare.co.uk


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