“What Baby Formula Causes NEC?”

February 4, 2022 | By Riddle & Brantley Accident Injury Lawyers
“What Baby Formula Causes NEC?”

Potential NEC Risk Due to Cow’s Milk Baby Formula

Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is a dangerous and potentially debilitating condition that can develop in premature and young infants. Studies dating back to the 1990s have linked the development of NEC with feeding infants bovine-based (cow’s milk) formula at an early age. In this blog post, we’ll examine the potential link between baby formula and NEC.

Now, consumers are bringing baby formula lawsuits against manufacturers and distributors of popular infant formulas claiming that they failed to adequately warn consumers about the dangers of NEC.

So, what baby formulas are potentially linked to the development of NEC, and what actions can consumers take?

Which Baby Formulas May Cause NEC?

Cow's milk-based baby formula has been linked to necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) and brands affected may include Enfamil and Similac.

Based on the existing research, any baby formula formulated using cow’s milk could put premature infants at risk for NEC. This includes certain Enfamil and Similac baby formulas manufactured by Abbott Laboratories and Mead Johnson, respectively. While these are the most prominent brands and manufacturers, any bovine-based formula may potentially put infants at risk for necrotizing enterocolitis.

To be clear, baby formula lawsuits to date have been largely focused on Enfamil and Similac. Our product liability attorneys are actively investigating claims that these and other cow's milk-based baby formulas cause NEC. If you believe Enfamil or Similac baby formula (or another cow's milk-based baby formula) caused your infant’s NEC, call 1-800-525-7111 for a free consultation to determine your eligibility for a potential baby formula NEC lawsuit.

It's important to note that Abbott Laboratories and Mead Johnson strongly deny any liability and/or wrongdoing alleged in these lawsuits.

What Causes NEC?

NEC is a dangerous and potentially fatal condition that typically develops in premature infants where inflammation occurs in the intestines. This inflammation can damage and kill tissue, and in severe cases, the inflammation can rupture the baby’s intestine, allowing bacteria from the digestive tract to leak into the intestinal wall or abdomen. In rare cases, NEC can result in death.

As of now, doctors and scientists have not been able to identify a single cause of NEC. However, doctors believe one of the reasons that premature babies are at a higher risk for developing NEC is because they have a weaker circulatory system, meaning they move blood through the body less effectively than full-term babies. This leads to a variety of problems, including impeding their ability to digest food efficiently.

NEC and Baby Formula Research

Researchers have recently focused on identifying a potential link between babies who were fed cow’s milk-based baby formula and the development of NEC. A study was published in The Lancet in the 1990s that suggested that infants fed bovine-based formulas were ten times more likely to develop NEC than infants who were breastfed.

It was later followed by studies conducted by the National Institute of Health, the Journal of Pediatric Research, and the British Medical Journal,  all of which supported the original study's findings.

Does Baby Formula Cause Necrotizing Enterocolitis?

So, as mentioned above, while no single cause of NEC has been identified, multiple studies have identified a strong association between premature infants who have been formula-fed with bovine-based formulas and a much higher risk for developing NEC.

Lawsuits Against Baby Formula Manufacturers

Baby formula lawsuits are being filed against baby formula manufacturers, alleging that they downplayed potential NEC risk associated with their products when given to premature infants.

Recently, a wrongful death claim was filed against Similac manufacturer Mead Johnson, alleging that the company’s claims about the product were “overly broad and vague, and do not ever mention that the product significantly increases the risk of NEC and death, nor provide any detailed instructions or evidence on when and how to feed the infants and how to avoid NEC and death when feeding its products.”

Our firm is actively investigating these claims. NEC is a heartbreaking disease and we are determined to hold any potentially negligent companies accountable. If your infant was fed Similac or Enfamil cow’s milk-based baby formula (or another qualifying cow's milk-based formula) and later developed NEC, please call 1-800-525-7111 for a FREE, no-obligation consultation.

There are no attorney fees unless we recover compensation for you in your baby food NEC lawsuit. Call 1-800-525-7111 and let’s talk.

Justice Counts for infants and their families affected by NEC potentially due to baby formula. We are ready to help however we can.