“They say that moms with children with food allergies do more research than the CIA, and I think that’s true,” quips Leah Segedie at the opening of a three-minute video she’s using to get the attention of moms and and baby formula giant Similac. She wants the company to get rid of the GMOs they put in their line of formulas, something Similac (Abbott Laboratories) decided not to do at their recent annual shareholder meeting.
To join Leah’s fight and let Similac and its competitors know you won’t stand for this, sign this petition at Change.org. Also, join us on the #SimilacNoGMO Twitter party Wednesday, May 22nd from 8-9:30pm EST, where you’ll join host Leah @BookieBoo and @DietsInReview as a panelist.
In the video you’ll see Leah’s cute baby boy, who’s soon to turn one-year-old, and awe the way we do at cute babies. But the one thing you’ll notice in every shot of him is the constant itching. After delivering at a healthy eight pounds, Leah’s baby quickly lost a pound and doctors were alarmed. A consummate supporter of breastfeeding, Leah was asked to supplement with formula to ensure her newborn was getting the nutrients and weight gain he needed. The situation quickly unraveled to a mother’s worst nightmare – helplessly watching your sick child.
Today, her son “is severely allergic to the top 8 food allergens: tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, soy, dairy, eggs, seafood & shellfish,” as well as pet dander. Leah says she hasn’t seen pure skin on him since they brought him home. “He’s never completely cleared up,” she says of a chronic battle with his numerous food and environmental allergens. She emotionally describes the range in “just itching” for mild eczema breakouts to severe breakouts where his rashes are actually seeping. “His whole body looks like it’s covered in burns,” she cries.
While this baby’s situation is certainly an extreme case, it’s still an example of the 400% rise in allergies among children since the 1990s. The biggest change since that time is our food – namely the 85% grocery store items, including Similac formula, that have GMOs.
“Children are the most likely to be adversely effected by toxins and other dietary problems” related to GM foods, biologist David Schubert of the Salk Institute warned in a report at ResponsibleTechnology.org. He called children “experimental animals.” That’s a pretty scary comparison and one that moms like Leah are no longer willing to stand for.
Allergies are one of the key problems associated with the presence of GMO ingredients in food. And for the many reasons that moms turn to formula to feed their infants, no choices for a healthier alternative exist in the US. In fact, Leah orders formula from Neocate, a very expensive non-GMO formula available from the UK.
Let Similac hear your voice. If GMOs are required to be labeled in European Union countries, why aren’t we good enough to know what’s in our food, too? Why isn’t the health of our babies’ worth the same level of care?