Why Is Pesticide Used As An Ingredient In Infant Formula?

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by Sayer Ji – Greenmedinfo.com

Why is cupric sulfate — a known herbicide, fungicide and pesticide — being used in infant formula? And why is it displayed proudly on product labels as a presumably nutritious ingredient?

Used to kill fungus, aquatic plants and roots of plants, parasitic infections in aquarium fish and snails, as well as algae and bacteria such as Escherichia coli, cupric sulfate hardly sounds fit for human consumption, much less for infants.

Clearly we have a problem here. Cupric sulfate is used in most mass market infant formulas. Even Similac’s “sensitive” formula contains the ingredient:


Indeed, infants are all too often looked at as “miniature adults” from the perspective of toxicological risk assessments, rather than what they are: disproportionately (if not exponentially) more susceptible to the adverse effects of environmental exposures. Instead of reducing or altogether eliminating avoidable infant chemical exposures (the precautionary principle), the chemical industry-friendly focus is always on determining “an acceptable level of harm” – as if there were such at thing!

It boggles the imagination how cupric sulfate ended up in infant formula, as well as scores of other consumer health products, such as Centrum and One-A-Day vitamins?

After all, it is classified, according to the Dangerous Substance Directive (one of the main European Union laws concerning chemical safety), as “Harmful (Xn), Irritant (Xi) and Dangerous for the environment (N).”

Moreover, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires that the warning signal “DANGER” appear on the labels of all copper sulfate end-products containing 99% active ingredient in crystalline form.

The Material Safety Data Sheet for Cupric Sulfate clearly states, in ‘Section 3: Hazards Identification,” that it has the following adverse health effects:

“Potential Acute Health Effects: Hazardous in case of skin contact (irritant), of eye contact (irritant), of ingestion, of inhalation.

Potential Chronic Health Effects: CARCINOGENIC EFFECTS: Not available. MUTAGENIC EFFECTS: Mutagenic for mammalian somatic cells. TERATROGENIC EFFECTS: Not available. DEVELOPMENT TOXICITY: Not available. The substance may be toxic to kidneys, liver. Repeated or prolonged exposure to the substance can produce target organs damage.”

In ‘Section 7: Handling and Storage” the following precautions must be taken:

“Do not ingest. Do not breathe dust. Wear suitable protective clothing. In case of insufficient ventilation, wear suitable respiratory equipment. If ingested, seek medical advice immediately and show t he container or the label. Avoid contact with skin and eyes. Keep away from incompatibles such as metals, alkalis.”

Could this be one reason why infant formula has been linked to over 50 adverse health effects, both short and long term, in infants given it in place of breast milk? The common explanation/claim is that infant formula isn’t intrinsically harmful, rather, breast milk and breastfeeding is just healthier. I believe this perspective in untenable, given the problems with cupric sulfate, and dozens of other questionable ingredients being used in these products, such as petroleum-derived and chirally inverted dl-alpha tocopherol (synthetic vitamin E), zinc sulfate, sodium selenate, manganese sulfate, etc.

5 Comments on Why Is Pesticide Used As An Ingredient In Infant Formula?

  1. Natasha Iris Laight

    I'm just going to copypasta what I wrote on an identically ignorant and fear-mongering post on another site:

    "Cupric sulfate (aka copper (II) sulfate) levels as found in infant formula and dietary supplements are significantly lower than the dose at which it becomes toxic. Copper is an essential nutrient and low levels of cupric sulfate have been used as a dietary supplement for those at risk of deficiency for multiple decades and without any reports of adverse reactions or toxicity.

    Cupric sulfate is water soluble – in our bodies, it breaks down into copper and sulfate ions; the copper may then be used to combat deficiency, whilst the sulfate (which is essential to a multitude of biological processes) helps form proteins, aides the pancreas in releasing important digestive enzymes and assists in the formation of mucin proteins in the gut walls, which block transfer of toxins from the gut to the bloodstream… those are just a few of its many uses within the body.

    In high enough doses, anything can be toxic. Water, potassium and salt are three examples that will kill you if you have too much.

    Taken orally, cupric sulfate is only considered moderately toxic. Even extreme doses of 1-12 GRAMS are expected to produce symptoms as mild as nausea, vomiting, headaches and diarrhea. Severe cupric sulfate poisoning may result in brain or organ damage, but we're talking excessive quantities WELL beyond what you could ever expect to find in an infant formula or dietary supplement.

    The absolute lowest dose of cupric sulfate shown to have had a toxic impact on humans is 11mg/kg, so, to see even the MILDEST toxic reaction (i.e. nausea, headache) in a newborn of only 3.6kg (8lbs), the dose would have to be ~40mg, 20 TIMES the 2mg minimum copper RDA for adults, and 20 times the amount of copper sulphate found in most adult dietary supplements. Safe consumption of cupric sulfate is currently recognised at 0.5mg/kg per day.

    Just because it sounds scary, doesn't mean it is."

    This information isn't hard to find. Please consult someone with an actual education in this field before spreading such a fear-inducing, twisted representation of the facts.

  2. David Meyers

    And they want to punish a mom for feeding her baby goats milk? Really sad what we are letting the government do to us.. and do to our food. I cant believe people just sit back and do nothing? When you try to explain it to them they look at you like your stupid..

  3. I read that article about that mom and I thought that was so stupid. There is nothing wrong with her son and she should be able to feed him as healthy as she can and wants. I breast fed my chidren until they were six months old (when they got teeth), and gave them very little formula, this was 18, 20 and 24 years ago. My granddaughter is not eating company created baby food, she eats what we eat. She is 15 months and we used our own food processors and now she has a full mouth of teeth so we cut up her food small and she is growing and developing just great. As far as people not listening, that isn't true. There is a new article out that is saying that major investors are dumping Monsanto stock left and right, and telling people to check their mutual funds and dump any company you are invested in that still invests in Monsanto because they are going down. As more and more people are marching as much for the Cause as for the Cure and people are demanding to know what is in their food. We are starving Monsanto out of business. Just keep buying non-gmo food, remember to spread the word about the cause as much as the need for cures and keep demanding to know what is put in our food, and being sprayed on our crops. As Monsanto is being starved out, products that are non-gmo certified by a non profit organization has had a 30% rise of people buying their products. Here in Oregon where I live, all of our wheat that was grown to be sold in Japan and South Korea was turned down because a few Monsanto seeds got into our crops. That has cost our farmers a lot of money and they are screaming angry. Monsanto's experiments on wheat crops were not contained and contaminated wheat in the northwest. This is not ok. We, as individual ordinary citizens, have come together and are destroying Monsanto and other GMO products despite our governments backing of such corporations. It's amazing what we can do when we come together to fight for a cause. We still have a voice and the money to make our own choices regardless of what the government tries to push on us. Buy as much food from your local farmer who keeps free range animals and doesn't inject them with hormones and antibiotics and are certified organic for fruits and vegetables. Who wants to buy meat or poultry from cruel abusive large corporate farms where they are stuffed in cages too small, shot up with hormones and given antibiotics because they are forced to live in their own filth and others, when you can go see the animals you buy out in the fields enjoying their lives and living and eating healthy? We get steaks and such that are so lean we actually have to add fat (like real butter) to cook it properly and amazing produce. It's actually cheaper to go out to a farm and pick your own fruits and vegetables and/or buy a quarter or half a cow, some chickens and even a pig from a farmer and have a big freezer to keep your meat in then it is to buy the corporate crap at the grocery store. Sorry for the long response, but don't stop talking David, because people are listening.

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