For Immediate Release: June 26, 1996

Contact: Michael Jacobson, ext. 328

Statement about Gerber Baby Foods

Michael F. Jacobson, Ph.D.

Executive Director, Center for Science in the Public Interest

For the past year Gerber Products Company has been under fire from CSPI and others for diluting its baby foods with water, sugar, and chemically modified starch. Gerber now says it is reformulating its best-selling 2nd-Foods Bananas with Tapioca and a number of other other products so as to eliminate those fillers.

Since April, 1995, to inform consumers and correct Gerber's deceptive practices, CSPI has asked the Food and Drug Administration to require that the percentages of major ingredients be disclosed on the fronts of baby-food labels. CSPI also petitioned the Federal Trade Commission to halt Gerber's deceptive advertising.

CSPI's Michael Jacobson had the following comment in response to Gerber's announcement:

It is good news for babies that Gerber is dropping its use of fillers -- modified starch, water, and sugar -- in a number of its products and using real food ingredients instead. Parents can now feed those products to their babies without cheating them of nutrients. I urge Gerber to finish the job by eliminating fillers from its desserts and other products that still contain them.

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