The maker of Similac Advance, the top commercial baby formula brand in the United States, says it will begin selling the first mainstream baby formula made without genetically altered ingredients by the end of the month at Target.
Similac’s maker, the global health care company Abbott, said it would first offer a “non-G.M.O.” version of its best-selling Similac Advance, followed by a non-G.M.O. version of Similac Sensitive. Depending on sales, Abbott may offer other formulas free of such ingredients.
Abbott will join a growing number of companies offering popular products without genetically modified organisms. Consumer demand for such products has been growing, despite a concerted and expensive effort by trade groups representing major food manufacturers and the biotech industry to convince them that genetically altered ingredients are not harmful to human health.
“We listen to moms and dads, and they’ve told us they want a non-G.M.O. option,” said Chris Calamari, general manager of Abbott’s pediatric nutrition business. “We want to make sure we meet the desires of parents.”
Most mainstream baby formula is made from various corn and soy derivatives, and more than 90 percent of those crops in America are grown from genetically altered seeds.
Abbott already has a G.M.O.-free formula in Similac Organic. (By law, organic products cannot contain genetically altered ingredients.) But the company said its research showed that parents wanted a G.M.O.-free version of the original Similac Advance, which was formulated to be more similar to breast milk than Similac Organic.
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