Clorox Chicken and other Gerber flavors

May 12th, 2010  |  by  |  Published in Uncategorized  |  3 Comments

Ok, so this isn’t really an answer to Matt’s questions about Russian kidlit in his excellent Raskolnikov for Lil’ Rascals link. But I am here in Moscow, and other than actually missing my kids quite a bit (they’ve been extra cute as of late, which makes a two-week trip like this just a bit harder than usual), I’ve been keeping an eye out for DadWagonish news.

Well, the news is the same here as it is Germany or in Canada, or wherever PhD in Parenting is still fighting the good fight: Nestle sucks.

Actually, Nestle may or may not suck in this instance. It’s hard to tell these things in Russia. But basically, the government has banned Nestle’s Gerber baby foods made in the U.S. from Russian shelves. If you can stomach the stench of broken English in this news report, the upshot seems to be that a food inspector smelled too much chlorine in the chicken baby food. According to the Russkies:

the use of chlorine in the water for cooling poultry leads to the accumulation on the surface and inside of poultry meat by-products of oxidative activity of free chlorine, particularly organochlorine compounds (chlorophenols, chloramines, trihalomethanes and other) hazardous to human health.

This also led to the revelation (to me, anyhow) that there is apparently an accepted baseline for chlorine in baby food. In Russia, it should only be 0.3-0.5 milligrams per liter.

Maybe that’s not a lot, but still. It just reminds me that there is a real difference between feeding baby fresh food and the canned/jarred/packaged alternatives. Convenience has a price.

The chlorine restrictions, by the way, have affected all American poultry imports to Russia.

In Russia, though, the truth is not always what it seems, so it’s worth pointing out that there’s a chance that this is just some veiled protectionism, banning U.S. chicken to give the anemic Russian agricultural sector a leg up. But even so, you might want to think twice before serving baby that cute little jar of Clorox Chicken.


  1. Jeni says:

    May 12th, 2010at 11:41 am(#)

    We need to have the same restrictions as far as chemicals in food….screw worrying about the amount of salt, calories, and fat (which all are natural). We need to worry about the amount of UNNATURAL CHEMICALS in our foods like chlorine, fluoride, etc…. And we wonder why cancer rates (especially in children) are on the rise!?!?!?!

  2. Jason says:

    May 12th, 2010at 12:39 pm(#)

    In Soviet Union, you eat baby food….

  3. beta dad says:

    May 12th, 2010at 1:43 pm(#)

    I suspect the Russian embargo is entirely political. They’re not known as great consumer protectionists. But I still won’t feed my babies stuff out jars.

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