My kids are 3 and 7 so we haven’t had to buy infant formula in awhile, and when we did, for my daughter, she had so many allergies we had to use a prescription formula. So I was never faced with the decision between store brands and name brands. But as a mom who understand what it is like to live on budget and who wants only the best for her kids, I want to know if a “store brand” is just as good as a “name brand.”
A few years ago, a name brand infant formula maker put moms in a tough position when they made claims that store brands were inferior both nutritionally and developmentally to name brands, specifically their own.
In 2009, PBM Products, Inc., a successful manufacturer of “store brand” infant formulas for stores such as Walmart, Target, and a number of others, won a court case in a false advertising lawsuit against Mead-Johnson Nutrition Co.
Mead Johnson, the makers of Enfamil LIPIL infant formulas (owned in large part by Bristol-Meyers Squibb) send out mailers to more than 1.5 million people that suggested that “store brand” formulas do not provide the same nutritional benefits as Mead-Johnson’s products. PBM’s products cost roughly half of what Enfamil LIPIL costs.
The court found that store brand formulas confer the same nutritional and developmental benefits as the more expensive national brands and a jury awarded PBM with $13.5 million dollars in damages.
Mead-Johnson appealed the ruling and on April 20, 2011, the federal appeals court affirmed the original ruling and denied Mead-Johnson’s bid to cancel the award. In the ruling, the court found that PBM is allowed to lawfully compare their products to the national brand products.
This is good news for PBM but for moms as well. Putting aside any debate about breast vs formula feeding, if parents have made the choice to formula feed it is important for them to have options, and it is important in this economy that they do not feel pressured to spend twice as much money than they can afford because of false claims.
For more information about the case check out this article: more information