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Capitol Health Call
November 10, 2010

Insect Parts in Infant Formula

JAMA. 2010;304(18):2005. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1608

Abbott Laboratories announced on September 22 that it was initiating a voluntary recall of 5 million containers of its Similac brand powdered infant formula because of possible contamination with beetle pieces or larvae. Sen Tom Harkin (D, Iowa) wants to know why the company, which learned of the contamination on September 16, took so long to launch the recall.

In a September 23 letter to Miles D. White, Abbott's chairman and CEO, Harkin, chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, asked for answers to questions about the lag time in the recall launch, whether the company knew of any injuries or illnesses resulting from consuming the formula, and whether withdrawing the formula will create shortages (http://bit.ly/9V1Sxe).