Sunday, September 26, 2010

Similac Recall

The other day I posted briefly about the Similac baby formula recall issued by Abbott Laboratories. We had six containers of infant's Similac Sensitive formula that was on the recall list and they have now been returned to our local Wal-Mart for a full refund. While I was searching the blogs and news boards for more information on the recall I couldn't help but read the hundreds of comments left by concerned parents. The mass majority was angry and upset and a few even claimed they would never use Similac products again. Some were more understanding in regards to the issue. So, my question is, where do you fit into the equation? How was your life affected by the recall and what are you feelings on the matter?

My understanding of this is that Abbott found traces of, what they called, a "common beetle" in a remote area of one of their facilities. The recall does not pertain to the liquid concentrate Similac, only the powder. Our daughter is not currently using Similac, but we had the six containers left over from when she had been and since they did not expire for another year I was planning on selling them. So glad I didn't!

I can completely understand the strong concerns of parents who are relying on this formula for their child's food source, but I also understand that things happen that are just out of our control. Abbott did a good thing by issuing the recall and stopping production until all the matter is resolved, but not everyone sees it that way. Were they irresponsible? Did they wait too long? How are they handling customer concerns?

The six containers of formula that were in our home were purchased some time ago and had our daughter still been using this formula they would have been gone already, but they were on the recall list. So what about the formula that was purchased a month or two ago and has already been consumed by infants? From what I've read the "common beetle" does poes a serious threat to infants. The effects are stomach discomfort and pain, lack of appetite and vomiting. Perhaps if our daughter had been using the formula I would be more angry about the situation and the fact that I could not purchase more formula because the shelves have been wiped clean. However, as I said, these things happen.

We have three children who were all breast fed for the first few months and then given Similac formula until they turned one. Breast feeding is definitely the best way to feed your baby, unfortunately for some mothers it just isn't an option. As my children grew, my milk supply stayed about the same and I could not supply the demand so I  switched the Similac with no regets. I would have loved to give my babies ONLY breast milk, but it just wasn't possible. Similac has been the number one trusted brand of formula by hospitals for years and it was our number one choice for all three of our children. That being said, if we ever have more children, I would gladly use Similac again. The issue at hand could have happened anywhere, to any company.

Here are some of my main concerns about the recall. Pleae feel free to leave your comments, concerns or questions following the post. How did the recall impact your family?

  1. What is a "common beetle"? Why didn't Abbott give more specifics on the beetle? Whether it's common or uncommon, as a parent it makes no difference. It is still a danger to the child and that is the most alarming factor.
  2. Did they wait too long to issue the recall? Why were my containers of formula on the list when they were purchased months ago?
  3. Are they handling the situation well? I have heard from many parents that it is impossible to get through to Abbott on the phone right now. I believe I also read on one forum that they have stopped taking calls, but I have no idea if that is factual or just a rumor.
  4. What are parents supposed to do if they rely on Similac powder as their child's food source and it is not available at this time?
  5. What if you have no way of returning the formula? Sure you can return the product to Abbott, but you have to wait three days for a shipping label and then wait 4-6 weeks for them to reimburse you. Stores seem to be on different pages as far as the return on the formula. Kroger in our area will not take it back without a receipt. Wal-Mart however will take it without a receipt and issue a gift card, but if you need more formula right away and it is not available then what good is the gift card?
Will you use Similac again in the future? What are your thoughts and concerns? Please feel free to share your comments below. If you have Similac in your home please be sure to check the containers to see if they are on the recall list. Go to or call Abbott at (800) 986-8850 (if you can get through).

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