What are the pros and cons of organic baby formula?
  1. Home
  2. Bottle Feeding
  3. What are the pros and ...

What are the pros and cons of organic baby formula?

With the increasing demand for organic products, understanding the advantages and disadvantages of organic baby formula is essential for making informed choices. Here, we delve into the pros and cons of organic baby formula to help guide parents and caregivers in their decision-making process.

Pros of organic baby formula

1. Reduced exposure to chemicals and pesticides

One of the primary advantages of organic baby formula is that it is made from ingredients that are not treated with synthetic pesticides and fertilisers. This means that babies are less likely to be exposed to potential residues from these chemicals.

2. No synthetic hormones or antibiotics

Organic standards prohibit the use of synthetic growth hormones and antibiotics in animals that produce milk for organic formula. This practice not only supports animal welfare but also ensures that these substances do not enter the baby’s diet.

3. Environmental benefits

Organic farming practices are designed to be more sustainable and less harmful to the environment. They focus on soil health and reducing pollution from agricultural runoff. By choosing organic baby formula, parents promote farming methods that are better for the planet.

4. Animal Welfare

Organic farming also emphasises the human treatment of animals. Livestock are required to be raised in conditions that accommodate their natural behaviours, such as grazing on pasture, which leads to healthier and less stressed animals. This commitment to ethical animal treatment appeals to many parents who are concerned about animal welfare issues.

5. Strict regulations

Organic products are subject to stringent regulations that ensure they meet certified organic standards. This regulatory oversight helps maintain the consistent quality and safety of organic baby formula, providing parents with peace of mind regarding the product’s purity and adherence to organic principles.

6. Potential nutritional benefits

Some studies suggest that organic milk, which primarily makes up organic baby formula, can have higher levels of certain beneficial fats like omega-3 fatty acids. These nutrients are crucial for brain development in the early stages of development.

Cons of organic baby formula

1. Cost

While it’s true that organic baby formula can be more expensive due to the smaller scale of organic production and the inherent costs associated with maintaining organic certification standards, this is not always the case. Prices can vary, and some organic baby formulas like Bellamy’s Organic may be competitively priced with conventional options, especially as the market for organic products continues to grow.

2. Limited choices

Compared to conventional baby formulas, the organic market may offer fewer choices in terms of brands and formulations (such as hypoallergenic). This can pose challenges for babies with specific dietary needs requiring these formulas.

3. Ingredient limits due to organic requirements

Organic formulas are restricted in their ability to include certain functional additives because the total content of the product must be at least 95% organic. This requirement limits the inclusion of non-organic nutrients and functional ingredients, such as types of probiotics, which can offer additional health benefits, but are not available as organic.

Choosing the right baby formula is a significant decision for parents and caregivers, and organic baby formula presents both appealing benefits and certain drawbacks. The reduced exposure to harmful substances, environmental sustainability, and human treatment of animals are compelling reasons to consider organic formulas. However, the restrictions on ingredients, and limited varieties pose challenges that must be weighed. Parents should evaluate these factors in light of their circumstances, priorities, and their baby’s health needs. Consulting with your baby's GP or maternal health nurse can provide guidance tailored to your child’s needs, ensuring their nutritional requirements are met during their crucial early development stages.


Średnicka-Tober, D., et al. (2016). Higher PUFA and n-3 PUFA, conjugated linoleic acid, α-tocopherol and iron, but lower iodine and selenium concentrations in organic milk: a systematic literature review and meta- and redundancy analyses. The British journal of nutrition, 115(6), 1043–1060. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0007114516000349