Gerber Good Start – Soothe Milk Based Powder Infant Formula with Iron
Overall Product Rating3 out of 5
How We Measure This
At Clean Label Project, we believe that when it comes to industrial and environmental contaminants,…
Type of ProductInfant Formula
Clean Label Project was formed with the mission to serve as the catalyst to change the definition of food and consumer product safety in America. Clean Label Project believes that when it comes to environmental and industrial contaminants, less is better than more. Not only are the compounds potentially hazardous, knowledge on the long-term effects of exposure to these contaminants is concerning and still developing.
For more details on the rationale behind the product ratings, see the below breakdown on this product's analytical chemistry test results compared to the rest of the category.
Heavy Metals (Arsenic, Cadmium, Lead, and Mercury):
Chemicals are part of our daily life. All living and inanimate matter is made up of chemicals and virtually every manufactured product involves the use of chemicals. Many chemicals can, when properly used, significantly contribute to the improvement of our quality of life, health and well-being. But other chemicals are highly hazardous and can negatively affect our health and environment when improperly managed. Heavy metal pollution and contamination can arise from many sources but often arises from metal purification processes, such as the smelting of copper and the preparation of nuclear fuels. The water run-off from these industries can result in contaminated soils.1
Arsenic: A by-product of smelting for copper, lead, zinc, burning fossil fuels, or in the manufacturing of pesticides or as an animal feed additive. Experimental and human studies have shown that early childhood exposure to arsenic can increase risk of impaired fetal growth, increased risk of cancer, neurotoxicity, and hormone disruption.
Cadmium: Cadmium is an extremely toxic metal that results from iron or other types of ores being mined, processed, or smelted and the nuclear industry. Studies have shown that it can have adverse effects on the heart and digestive system.
Lead: Lead can be emitted into the environment from industrial sources and contaminated sites. Mining, smelting, and refining activities have resulted in substantial increases in lead levels in the environment, especially near mining and smelting sites. Lead can affect almost every organ and system in your body. Children six years old and younger are most susceptible to the effects of lead. Even low levels of lead in the blood of children can result in2:
- Behavior and learning problems
- Lower IQ and Hyperactivity
- Slowed growth
- Hearing Problems
Mercury: Common sources of mercury exposure are a result of mining, production, and refining of gold and silver ores. The link between heavy metals and autism is presently an area of research. Final conclusions on this are premature at this moment but mercury is a neurodevelopmental poison.
Process Contaminants (Mycotoxins, Acrylamide):
During the food manufacturing process, naturally occurring but unwanted contaminants can be introduced into the finished product. Despite this, these contaminants are potentially hazardous to health and can be reduced or eliminated through stricter supplier and quality assurance programs. In essence, these chemicals are contaminants of carelessness.
Acrylamide: A toxic and potentially cancer-causing chemical is formed in many types of food prepared/cooked at high temperatures.1
Mycotoxins:A toxic substance that is created from molds growing on wheat, corn, nuts, and grains.2
By-product Contaminants (Pesticides, Antibiotics, Melamine, BPA/BPS):
A final product is only as good as the sum of its parts. When it comes to food production, the quality and purity of the raw ingredients matters. In many cases, brands, knowingly or unknowingly, source ingredients from suppliers that may not have sufficient quality control/assurance program in place preventing the use of unacceptable chemicals (e.g. pesticides, Antibiotics, Melamine, and BPA/BPS).
Pesticides: Pesticides are chemical compounds that are used to kill pests, including insects, rodents, fungi and unwanted plants (weeds). Pesticides are used in agriculture, to kill pests that damage crops. By their nature, pesticides are potentially toxic to other organisms, including humans, and need to be used safely and sparingly to minimize contamination to food stuffs.1
Antibiotics: The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued a report on the rise of antibiotic resistant superbugs resulting from the overuse of antibiotics in livestock to preemptively treat illness and disease. The CDC referred to antibiotic resistance as the single biggest threat to public health and safety.2 Repeat low-level exposure to antibiotics can render them useless when an illness or infection occurs in a human that necessitates the use of an antibiotic. Clean Label Project tested for the presence of residual antibiotics in the food products.
Melamine (and its analogues): Melamine is an industrially synthesized chemical used for a wide variety of applications, such as laminates, coatings and plastics. According to a report from the Chinese Ministry of Health, 294,000 infants had been affected by melamine-contaminated infant formula by the end of November 2008. Melamine produces crystals in urine and can have detrimental health effects on the kidney and bladder.3
BPA/BPS: Bisphenol A (BPA) and Bisphenol S (BPS) are industrial chemicals that are widely used in the production of plastics (used in food contact materials, such as baby bottles and food containers) and epoxy resins (used as protective linings for canned foods and beverages and as a coating on metal lids for glass jars and bottles). These uses result in consumer exposure to BPA via the diet. These chemicals have been linked to hormone disruption.4
We know you want a quality, nutritious food for your child in addition to one that is low in industrial and environmental contaminants. While it’s always best to consult your pediatrician for your child’s specific nutritional needs, we’ve factored in additional nutritional elements that may help with your purchasing decisions.
Given the growing obesity epidemic, Clean Label Project downgraded baby foods that contained added sugars. Clean Label Project also downgraded products that use artificial colors and preservatives.
Clean Label Project also wanted to test for nutritional qualities that wouldn’t necessarily be on the product label. That’s why we tested for antioxidant activity. Antioxidant activity is important for protecting the body from potential damage to the cells.