Print Friendly and PDF

108 Milligrams of Common Organic Infant Formula ‘Nutrient’ Can Kill You

Mike Barrett
January 23rd, 2012
Updated 11/06/2012 at 1:14 pm
Pin It

poison 210x131 108 Milligrams of Common Organic Infant Formula Nutrient Can Kill You

It seems that a toxic and very lethal byproduct of copper metal refining is present in many mass market products. The ingredient is even utilized as a selling point, which is very strange to say the least given its toxic properties. This often consumed byproduct is known as sodium selenate, and is capable of killing 50% of rats who ingest as little as .4 milligrams of it. Similarly, a human has a 50% chance of dying after consuming only 108 milligrams. To put things into some perspective, 108 milligrams is equal to about 11 grains of sand. It may be time to switch up your personal product selection.

Sodium Selenate | A Toxic Ingredient Added to Many Products 

Listing sodium selenate as a ‘nutrient’ on labels of mass-market products and vitamins is nonsensical to say the least. This ‘nutrient’ is classified as dangerous and toxic to the environment by the Environmental Protection Agency and the European Union, yet it still proudly stands as a primary ingredient in many products. If other similar ‘ingredients’ were to be placed next to sodium selenate on any label, you may expect to read “mercury” or “cadmium”.

Sodium selenate can actually be naturally found in many foods such as brazil nuts, mustard seeds, and fresh produce. The toxicity problem arises when the ‘nutrient’ is isolated and separated from the other hundreds or thousands of known and unknown factors in food like enzymes, glyconutrients, minerals, etc. The selenium found within food have actually been shown to prevent disease, while the biologically inert forms used in products have the complete opposite effect on the body.

Why the toxic form of sodium selenate is allowed to be used at all is a mystery, but there is a good reason companies and manufacturers use it – it is cheap and inexpensive. While being proudly marketed on vitamin labels, sodium selenate has been shown to cause reproductive and developmental problems in both animals and humans. Some products containing sodium selenate are:

  • Pet foods, including “organic” brands such as Newman’s Own.
  • Selenium supplements, such as Twin Lab’s “Sodium Selenite,” Vitamin Research Products’ “Selenium.”
  • Veterinary vitamins
  • Nutrition Shakes, e.g. Kids Essentials, Nestle’s Nutrament
  • Infant Formula, Sam’s Club “Simply Right,” Enfamil’s “Premium Infant Formula Powder.”

One other extremely popular product containing this ingredient exhibiting carcinogenicity and genotoxicity is the multivitamin Centrum. Does it seem strange that one of the most popular vitamins to date actually contains a toxic ingredient? This very popular multivitamin is actually a huge concoction of harmful and toxic ingredients, further discrediting those who swear by its safety and effectiveness.

There is a large difference between synthetic and natural vitamins, and there is a large difference between high quality and low quality supplements. The result of all of the vitamin studies using low quality supplements is simple: bad press on vitamins as a whole, as the authors fail to correctly distinguish the difference between low quality and high quality supplements. As a response, people are scared to take legitimately healthy multivitamins or health supplements, or think that all vitamins are the same.

About Mike Barrett:
2.thumbnail 108 Milligrams of Common Organic Infant Formula Nutrient Can Kill You Google Plus Profile |Mike is the co-founder, editor, and researcher behind Natural Society. Studying the work of top natural health activists, and writing special reports for top 10 alternative health websites, Mike has written hundreds of articles and pages on how to obtain optimum wellness through natural health.

From around the web:

  • Lenny Gray

    While it is true that a mere factor of 10x of a therapeutic dose of it is considered toxic (though hardly lethal unless continued), Selenium is an ESSENTIAL mineral, necessary for the formation of Glutathione Peroxidase. There are no "biologically inert forms" of Selenium, though Selenium Yeast may be incorporated into the body, unmetabolized, until, fate be damned, a cancer breaks it up, at which point the Selenium toxicity will present as a problem. The levels of selenium (though not sodium-selenate!) in produce relate to the soil content in which yon produce is grown. That soil source _CAN_ provide so much as to _BE_ toxic, or it can yield so little as to cause a deficiency. _YOU_ need to note the "so much" aspect of that last sentence, as "natural" ain't automatically the answer.

    OTOH, modern medicine is currently investigating positive effects of supplemental selenate, along with massive doses of niacinAMIDE, for modulating the tau-proteins, showing potential as the basis of a cure for dementia, including Alzheimers. Again, "natural" may not be "best".



    _DO_ note the NIH.GOV domains of the above links.

  • Lou

    Sodium selenate has been shown to mitigate tau hyperphosphorylation, which is a cause of Alzheimer's disease–

    The MSDS of sodium selenate can be found here–

    LD50 (rat) is 1.6 mg/kg

  • Asami

    Although the chemical mentioned here is sodium selenate, killing 50% of rats link goes to MSDS of sodium selenite. These are two different chemicals.

  • Ella Baker

    A recent study released by the International Journal of Biological Sciences found that Monsanto's GM Corn causes liver and kidney damage in lab rats. Monsanto only released the raw data after a legal challenge from Greenpeace, the Swedish Board of Agriculture, and French anti- GM campaigners. I'm sure the corn is fine to feed to our cattle or eat ourselves though. Right? You can take action by staying informed and spreading the word at

  • Amanda Woollams

    Selenium is required in infant formulas to ensure that the selenium requirements for healthy development of babies is met. Selenium is required in babies for keeping immune systems strong and acts as an antioxidant.

    The figure of 108 milligrams quoted in this unsupported, non-technical and non-peer reviewed document is over 1 million times the recommended daily allowable limit and again 1 million times the actual quantity found in many infant formulas. If in fact this level was consumed then it is quite likely that some adverse effects may be observed. However infant formulas do not provide anywhere near the level quoted in this document. This sort of commentary is incorrect, scaremongering and inappropriate as it does not provide correct and substantiated nutritional information for parents who are formula feeding.

    • Tia

      I think the article was about the dangers of taking synthetic versions of selenium, not that we shouldn't use any form of selenium. While it is true that we should stay below 500 micro-grams, we still need 'natural' selenium in our diet. I agree with the article, that manufacturers should not be allowed to use the synthetic versions for human consumption, especially in infants formulas…only natural supplements.

      This is from the govt fact sheet:

      "Selenium supplements

      Selenium occurs in staple foods such as corn, wheat, and soybean as selenomethionine, the organic selenium analogue of the amino acid methionine [30,31]. Selenomethionine can be incorporated into body proteins in place of methionine, and serves as a vehicle for selenium storage in organs and tissues. Selenium supplements may also contain sodium selenite and sodium selenate, two inorganic forms of selenium. Selenomethionine is generally considered to be the best absorbed and utilized form of selenium."

  • Maria

    Selenium is toxic in high concentrations. The chronic toxic dose for human beings is about 2.4 to 3 milligrams of selenium per day. – WIKIPEDIA