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Mead Johnson

Mead Johnson’s Enfamil line of baby formula is currently facing intense public scrutiny. There are no active recalls on any Mead Johnson products, but lawsuits have been filed alleging that the company failed to disclose the increased risk of NEC to premature babies who are fed Enfamil formula.

Last Modified: September 7, 2023
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About Mead Johnson

Mead Johnson Nutrition Company is an infant formula manufacturer that is currently facing several baby formula lawsuits for failing to disclose the risk of necrotizing enterocolitis, or NEC, to premature babies. NEC is a serious disease that causes sections of a baby’s intestines to die, putting them at risk of sepsis and lifelong digestive issues.

In 2017, consumer health company Reckitt Benckiser acquired the company. Reckitt Benckiser owns a number of well-known hygiene, health and nutrition brands including Lysol, Air Wick, Calgon, Woolite, Clearasil and Airborne. The company also owns Nutramigen, known for its infant formula designed for babies with dairy allergies.

Mead Johnson History

Edward Mead Johnson, one of the co-founders of Johnson & Johnson, founded Mead Johnson in 1905. Despite its co-founder’s corporate ties, Mead Johnson is not a part of Johnson & Johnson.

Although small at first, the company grew into a multinational corporation, selling to parents and institutions in more than 70 countries.

Enfamil debuted in 1959 and quickly became the company’s flagship product. Over the years, Mead Johnson has added different formulations of Enfamil and other baby formulas to its product lines.

Mead Johnson Brands and Products

Mead Johnson has produced many varieties of baby formula over the years. Almost all of their products are made from cow’s milk and are now the subject of concern related to the risk of NEC. Some of its preemie formula products, however, do not contain cow’s milk.

Current products include:
  • Enfamil Enspire
  • Enfamil Enspire Gentlease
  • Enfamil Infant
  • Enfamil Gentlease
  • Enfamil Neuropro Infant
  • Enfamil Neuropro Gentlease
  • Enfamil Neuropro Sensitive
  • Enfamil Reguline
  • Enfamil A.R.
  • Enfamil Simply Organic
  • Enfamil ProSobee
  • Enfamil 24
  • Enfamil PREMIUM A2
  • Enfamil Premature 20 Cal/fl oz
  • Enfamil Premature 24 Cal/fl oz
  • Enfamil Neuropro EnfaCare
  • Enfagrow PREMIUM Toddler Transitions
  • Enfamil Premature 24 Cal/fl oz HP
  • Enfamil Premature 30 Cal/fl oz
  • Neutramigen
  • Neutramigen with Probiotic LGG
  • Neutramigen with Enflora LGG Toddler
  • PurAmino
  • PurAmino Jr
  • PurAmino Jr Vanilla
  • BCAD 1
  • GA
  • OA 1
  • LMD
  • HCY 1
  • Phenyl-Free 1
  • WND 1
  • Tyros 1

The company also makes other nutrition-related products. These include nutritional powders for children and adults, ready-made nutritional drinks for toddlers and a range of supplements to boost babies’ intake of essential nutrients.

Enfamil Recalls

While there has been concern about the potential for NEC as a result of the company’s infant formula, no Enfamil products have been officially recalled in 2022. However, in the past, both stores and manufacturers have issued recalls of Enfamil products.

  • In 2018, CVS recalled all Enfamil products after finding that a container had been tampered with before it was purchased in one of their stores in Oldsmar, Florida.
  • In 2011, Enfamil Newborn products Supervalue, Kroger, Walgreens and Walmart stores recalled Enfamill products after two babies died because of suspected Cronobacter sakazakii contamination. Mead Johnson did not issue a full baby formula recall, and the FDA and CDC eventually cleared the products.
  • In 2006, all Enfamil Gentlease products were recalled after some of the products were found to contain metal shards of up to 2.7mm in diameter.
  • In 2004, 505 cases of Enfamil EnfaCare LIPIL were recalled because of possible contamination with Enterobacter sakazakii, a type of bacteria that can cause dangerous conditions like sepsis, meningitis and NEC in newborns.
  • In 2001, 4.6 million containers of Enfamil Nutramigen were recalled because of incorrect Spanish preparation instructions. Following these incorrect instructions put babies at risk of seizures, irregular heartbeat and death.

The 2022 FDA investigation of possible bacterial infections from infant formula related to another company’s baby formula recall of its own products, Abbott Nutrition, has caused a great deal of consumer confusion. Enfamil is not involved in the FDA’s current investigation.

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Enfamil Side Effects

Most babies do not experience any baby formula side effects. But babies who are allergic to cow’s milk may have a bad reaction to Enfamil. These babies may develop symptoms such as:

  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased gas
  • Rashes around the mouth
  • Nasal congestion

Some infants may develop an even more severe allergic reaction. Contact your doctor immediately if your baby experiences any of the following symptoms:

  • Swelling around the mouth or throat
  • Vomiting
  • Hives
  • Difficulty breathing

NEC can also develop in children from dairy-based infant formula. Premature babies are at an increased risk of developing NEC, which affects 1 in 1000 babies who are born prematurely compared to 1 in 10,000 babies carried to term. The condition is most common in babies who weigh less than 2 pounds at birth.

Symptoms of NEC include:
  • Reduced appetite
  • Swelling or tenderness in the stomach area
  • Bloody stools
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting

As many as 50% of infants who develop NEC die of the illness. NEC typically affects babies three to 12 days after birth, but the condition can also develop several weeks later. Contact your doctor immediately if your baby develops any of these symptoms during the first few weeks of life.

Most Enfamil products are made from cow’s milk, making infants who consume those formulas vulnerable to the disease.

Enfamil Lawsuits and Settlements

The Enfamil lawsuit related to Mead Johnson is ongoing, and its outcome remains unclear. But this is not the first product-related litigation Mead Johnson has faced.

In 2011, Mead Johnson paid an estimated $12 million to settle a class-action lawsuit that alleged the company falsely advertised Enfamil products as containing additional nutrients that other formulas did not have.

In 1991, Mead Johnson and several other formula manufacturers were sued because of price-fixing within the baby formula market. The company paid a small settlement to all parents of children born between 1980 and 1991.

Please seek the advice of a medical professional before making health care decisions.