The Purity Award and Pesticide-Free certification has been presented to Bobbie infant formula by the Executive Director of the Clean Label Project, Jackie Bowen. This award recognizes the significant strides Bobbie has made towards transparency and health-consciousness for consumers, focusing particularly on infant nutrition.
Bobbie, the first USDA Organic, European-style baby formula manufactured in the U.S. that meets FDA requirements, stands behind its mission to evolve the future of infant nutrition. They are the first brand to receive both the Clean Label Project’s Purity Award and Pesticide Free certification for an infant formula, which is awarded to companies that achieve the highest level of purity when tested against products in the same category— clean baby products.
Bobbie isn’t alone in its commitment to superior nutrition for your family. Top-tier brands like Cerebelly, SmartyPants, Once Upon a Farm, and Yumi Organics have all achieved Clean Label Project Purity Award certification.
Bobbie is proud to bring together top quality ingredients and partners to create an unprecedented organic, Clean Label Project certified infant formula.Laura Modi, CEO and co-founder of Bobbie baby formula
What is the Clean Label Project?
The Clean Label Project is an independent nonprofit organization committed to providing consumers with cleaner, more transparent product label information for hundreds of products nationwide, including baby food, personal care products and wellness supplements.
“While infant formula is the most heavily regulated food in America when it comes to nutrition, US law is largely silent on maximum levels of heavy metals when it comes to the food fed to the most vulnerable populations at this most vulnerable period of brain and immune system development,” says Jackie Bowen, Head of the Clean Label Project.
“The reality is that regulation hasn’t caught up with science. Clean Label Project is actively working to change that.” On a recent IG live, Bowen headlined a session called Formula is Food; Why Ingredients Matter.
Bowen explains the progress made by regulatory bodies, saying “Fortunately, over the past year, federal regulation is beginning to be explored with the Baby Food Safety Act of 2021 and FDA’s Closer to Zero program. But, parents need solutions now.”
The Clean Label Project independently tests products in search of hidden ingredients and environmental contaminants —helping families make safer decisions about the products they welcome into their homes.
What is the Clean Label Project Purity Award?
The Clean Label Project Purity Award sets a new standard for transparency in the food and consumer packaged goods industry.
The award is reserved for brands that meet rigorous standards for ingredient disclosure and truth in labeling. By highlighting products that meet their purity standards for questionable or harmful chemicals, The Clean Label Project encourages a national shift towards safer ingredients in food and consumer products.
Within the baby food and infant formula space, less than two dozen brands have been able to make the commitment and achieve the strict Clean Label Project certification requirements.Jackie Bowen, Clean Label Project
Bowen adds, “What’s inspiring is that more brands are recognizing the importance and joining the Clean Label Project in this consumer movement.”
How do products achieve Clean Label Project certification?
The Clean Label Project tests products to ensure they meet the specific criteria based on the contaminants of concern for their category. For accuracy, product samples are purchased through retail stores and tested in an FDA-registered and GMP-compliant laboratory.
Products that pass stringent laboratory testing are then benchmarked against other goods in their category to ensure they are truly superior. Only the top products that pass testing and benchmarking are awarded the Clean Label Project Certified Purity Award.
According to The Clean Label Project’s website, the step-by-step process includes five stages:
- Step 1: Brand contacts Clean Label Project
- Step 2: Product sampling
- Step 3: Testing
- Step 4: Benchmarking
- Step 5: Ongoing compliance
What is the Pesticide Free certification?
In addition to being tested for the Clean Label Project certification, Bobbie also applied for the Pesticide Free certification. While certified organic goes a long way to reduce the chemical load used in agriculture, the fact that over 99% of domestic farmland is treated as conventional agriculture means that because of birds, bees, water, and wind— contamination of organic farmland can and does occur.1
For this certification, Clean Label Project identifies the most commonly used pesticides for different ingredients and then samples and tests products seeking compliance to ensure the absence of these chemicals in the finished product. Bobbie is the first baby formula to receive this certification.
But, why is Organic not enough?
The significance of USDA certified organic isn’t always clear to consumers. The focus on organic ingredients has driven significant growth in the natural foods industry, but the meaning of “organic” alone isn’t a thorough indication of a product being free from hazardous chemicals.
In simple terms, organic refers to foods that are grown without the use of synthetic agricultural chemicals, including pesticides and fertilizers. This doesn’t mean that harmful toxins can’t (or won’t) be introduced through other sources. Some parents may not realize that standards for organic baby formula don’t require testing— they only prevent the use of synthetic fertilizers in the foods’ preparation process.
While organic infant formula and baby food is a massive step in the right direction, The Clean Label Purity Award and Pesticide-free certifications take organic a step further. It’s a breath of fresh air knowing every ounce of Bobbie infant formula supports a healthy start.
Heavy metals and baby food: A major concern for parents
Consumers care about heavy metals in foods for infants and children. A 2021 Congressional report highlighted the content of heavy metals in some baby foods citing that babies and children are most vulnerable to their neurotoxic effects.2 The report called out companies that were not testing, exceeding set limits and exposing consumers to risks they weren’t aware of. The subcommittee did recommend more be done in the way of testing, labeling, phasing out of risky ingredients, FDA standards and parental vigilance.
The introduction last year of both the Baby Food Safety Act of 2021 and FDA’s Closer to Zero program showed the federal government is taking heavy metal contamination in baby foods seriously, however concrete standards are yet to be enforced. External organizations, like the Clean Label Project, do set standards for heavy metal content and testing. Proactive companies can target to achieve the standards set by the Clean Label Project, offering their consumers maximum transparency when it comes to metals in baby food.
What does this mean for the infant formula industry?
As the infant formula industry continues to grow, Bobbie is paving the way as a leader in transparency. Bobbie’s infant formula goes beyond organic, thanks to its dedication to using only the top quality ingredients like pasture-raised dairy.
“The first 1000 days of life are critically important to the long-term health and wellness of our little ones. Bobbie’s new Purity Award coupled with the Pesticide Free certification is a testament to the rigor that Bobbie puts into sourcing the very best ingredients for my family and yours,” explains Bowen.
This award is especially important in the face of the infant formula trend. According to Fortune Business Insights, “Increasing demand for clean label, plant-based, and organic products has emerged in recent years.”3 The infant formula market is expected to double from $50.46 billion to $109.10 billion from 2019 to 2027, which shows how valuable this certification is for Bobbie and the entire baby industry.
Formula is an exclusive form of nourishment during the critical period of brain and immune system development.Jackie Bowen, Clean Label Project
Bowen adds, “Families have a new option with increased peace of mind with Bobbie— which has been tested for over 400 industrial and environmental contaminants and toxins including heavy metals, pesticide residue, and plastics, and is a recipient of the Clean Label Project Purity Award and Pesticide-Free certification.”
- Clean Label Project— Pesticide Free Certification
- Congressional report released February 2021— U.S. House of Representatives
- Food Supplements— Fortune Business Insights