The French food giant said it has carried out ‘extensive quality safety checks and that it will be taking all feedback ‘very seriously’, after hundreds of parents in the UK complained that the revised formula is making their children ill.
In response to the complaints Danone has set up a free helpline that parents can call for advice, and has moved to reassure parents that checks have shown the reformulated products are safe.
"We are very concerned to hear reports of babies being unsettled or unwell and we will investigate every complaint,” said a Danone statement.
“We have been listening to parents' feedback and we would like to reassure parents that the quality and safety of our products is our number one priority.”
Safe formula … but babies may need time to adapt
According to Danone, results of its safety and quality checks, in addition to previously published clinical trial data, have shown that babies take to the formula well and that it is safe.
“We have recently introduced new Aptamil formulations and we recognise that some families have not found the transition to the new formula easy,” said Danone. “We have undertaken extensive quality and safety checks, including clinical trials, product testing and product experience tests on these products.”
“We are very sorry about the difficulties that some parents have had,” the company added.
“Our experience tells us that when changing what you feed your baby, they may need time to adapt and have some temporary changes to their digestive pattern.”
Some parents had also complained that the new formulations do not mix well – resulting in clumping, even when the new instructions were followed.
Danone added that many infants have ‘smoothly transitioned’ to the new formulas, but noted that the reformulated products may be more sensitive to temperature and urged parents to follow the on-pack instructions carefully.
“We have up-dated the mixing instructions on our packs as this new formula requires parents to mix it up slightly differently, compared to the previous formulation - specifically, shaking vigorously for 10 seconds to dissolve the powder,” it said.
No issues for some
While hundreds of parents took to social media to complain about the new formulations, there were many also posting to say that they had not experienced any problems – with some even noting that their baby has benefited from the new formula
"My son appears a lot more content and happy... he's putting on a lot more much-needed weight," Courtney Wheeldon told the BBC, after her 17-week-old son who was born prematurely benefited from then revised formula.
While it investigates the complaints, Danone says it has set up a free dedicated one-to-one helpline where parents can call for advice.
“We are taking all feedback very seriously and we invite any parent with concerns to please contact us for free on 0800 996 1000, pressing option 0 followed by option 1. We are available on the phone 24/7 and are ready to help in any way we can,” said Danone.