FDA finalizes baby formula standards

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Federal health officials are finalizing additional regulations to ensure that infant formula is nutritious and safe from contamination.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) set standards Monday that require additional safety tests on formula as well as attestation from manufacturers that their products promote physical growth in infants.

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While many companies adhere to similar standards voluntarily, those that do not follow the new rules by early September could face penalties. The compliance deadline is September 8.

FDA officials said the rules are necessary to protect infants at the earliest stages of their growth.

"FDA sets high quality standards for the safety and nutritional quality of infant formulas during this critical time," said FDA acting chief scientist Stephen Ostroff in a statement.

The regulations will require formula manufacturers to test their products' nutrient content before they arrive on shelves and at the end of their shelf life.

The FDA is also requiring the companies to test for disease-causing bacteria, including salmonella.

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