Canada – High risk feeding items sent as samples to pregnant woman

To promote its products, Abbott mailed a Similac Club box to a woman who is 28 weeks pregnant . The
box contains the following items…..

Code Violations
Promotion to the public

ABBOTT

Abbott Laboratories
100 Abbott Park Road
Abbott Park,
Illinois 60064-3500
USA
www.Abbott.com

Canada – High risk feeding items sent as samples to pregnant woman

To promote its products, Abbott mailed a Similac Club box to a woman who is 28 weeks pregnant . The
box contains the following items –

  • 1 can of Similac Tummy- Friendly and Easy to Digest powdered infant formula
  • 1 can of Similac Advance powdered infant formula
  • 4 bottles of Simila Advance ready-to-use formula with instructions for use of the products
  • A bottle nipple
  • A Welcome to Parenthood booklet with a promotional leaflet on Similac products
  • Rebate cheques for the purchase of Similac products
  • A coupon for Pedialyte, an oral electrolyte solution for dehydration

What Abbott is doing undermines Health Canada recommendation – exclusive breastfeeding for the first
six months and sustained breastfeeding to two years and beyond.

As the woman has never be in touch with Abbott, she suspects her personal information was being shared
without her permission by retailers whom she had purchased baby products. When the woman inspected
the box, she saw that the expiry date on the box is actually earlier than her due date. She also discovered a
brown spot inside one of the Similac Advance ready-to-use samples.

When the woman messaged Abbott to express her concerns, a company rep apologised and praised her for
playing a key role in their quality assurance programme. The company explained that an earlier expiry date
was placed on the outside box to prevent the contents inside from being shipped when the actual product
is expired. An offer was made to send new samples if the woman is uncomfortable about using the ones
she had already received. For the ready-to-use formula with the brown spot, she was told not to use it and
a quality control report had been filed. It is bad enough that Abbott is sending unsolicited high risk feeding
items for used by a new born. The newborn could get seriously ill. For the company to send a coupon for
Pedialyte to use indicates that the company is positioning itself to profit from that eventuality. Bad form.