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Mead Johnson Spokesperson Comments on Wal-Mart Formula Pull, "We Are Highly Confident In The Safety And Quality Of Our Products"


After the report yesterday that Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) has pulled Mead Johnson's (NYSE: MJN) baby formula, shares of the pediatric nutrition company have been plummeting in early trade on Thursday.

Benzinga contacted Chris Perille of Media Relations at Mead Johnson, for their comment on the matter.

"We are aware of the reported infant death in Lebanon, Missouri, and our hearts go out to the child's family for their tragic loss. We have been informed by health authorities that the infant tested positive for Cronobacter, which is a microorganism found throughout the environment and sometimes implicated in rare but serious illnesses in newborn babies. In the case of such a serious illness or death, an exhaustive investigation is undertaken by officials. Since Cronobacter in commonly present in the environment, they will be examining a range of possible environmental sources and engaging in sampling and testing to try to identify the cause. Among numerous things being tested are any formula consumed -- which included Enfamil Newborn -- the water used to prepare it, etc. At Mead Johnson, the health and safety of infants is our highest priority, and we are confident that all our products are safe and nutritious when prepared, stored and used as instructed on the label. All our products are manufactured and tested to comply with local and national regulatory requirements, as well as our own rigorous standards. Our testing of ingredients and all finished powdered infant formula products includes tests for Cronobacter, consistent with the methodology used by both the FDA and the CDC. If an ingredient or a batch of powdered infant formula product were found to contain Cronobacter, it would be rejected and not distributed. The batch of our product used by the child's family tested negative for Cronobacter when it was produced and packaged, and that has been reconfirmed from our batch records following this news. The family purchased the formula at a Walmart store, and "out of an abundance of caution" Walmart decided to voluntarily "pull & hold" just the same size cans (12.5 oz.) of Enfamil Newborn from the same batch code until the investigation is completed. We are highly confident in the safety and quality of our products – and the rigorous testing we put them through. We are working with the health authorities to support their efforts to identify the source or cause of this infant's infection."

Shares of Mead Johnson are currently down over 8% at around $70 per share.

Posted-In: News Management


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