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New rules would ensure safety of infant formula

The Food and Drug Administration is laying out new requirements to ensure the safety of infant formula.

The rules announced Thursday are designed to make sure that formula manufacturers test their products for salmonella and other pathogens before they are distributed. They would also require formula companies to include specific nutrients, including proteins, fats and vitamins.

Most formula manufacturers follow these practices already, but the rules will ensure that new formulas on the market also comply with the requirements.

The FDA’s Michael Taylor says the rules are intended to ensure that formula is safe and supports normal growth in babies. The agency said breastfeeding is strongly recommended for newborns but that 25 percent of infants start out using formula. By three months, two-thirds of infants rely on formula.

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