The Ross Products Division of Abbott Laboratories has announced plans to launch an infant formula supplemented with two fatty acids that function as nutritional building blocks in brain and eye development.
The two fatty acids - DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and ARA (arachidonic acid) - are found in small amounts in breast milk. Infants are also able to make these fatty acids from the essential fatty acids in their diets.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already stated that it has no objections to the addition of a source of DHA and ARA in term infant formulas, and Ross is in final discussions with the regulators to add a new formula supplemented with DHA and ARA to its existing Similac® With Iron range.
The US launch should take place sometime in early 2002. Internationally, Abbott has been selling infant formula products supplemented with the fatty acids for some time.
"We are always listening to health care professionals and parents, and some of them have told us that because DHA and ARA are in breast milk, they want a Ross product supplemented with DHA and ARA," said Ann Bair, vice president, infant formula marketing.
"By introducing an additional Similac® With Iron product with added DHA and ARA, we are responding to this request. Parents can be reassured that today's Similac® With Iron supports visual and mental development like that of the breastfed infant."
Ross Products has been a leader in infant nutrition for more than 70 years and is dedicated to conducting the research that ensures that formula-fed infants receive the highest quality products to meet their nutritional needs.