Please Note: This post may contain sponsor, affiliate, and/or referral links. Read my full disclosure statement. 

Disclaimer: The information in this post is for educational purposes only. I am not a doctor. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. None of the opinions are meant to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. You should always consult your healthcare provider.

Exploring the Ingredients in Similac Infant Formula

Were you aware that one of the ingredients in Similac Infant Formula is a pesticide? Most of the ingredients in Similac Infant Formula are not easy to read which makes it difficult to decipher which ones are beneficial or harmful. It is crucial to think about the overall effect that ingredients used to make formula will have on your baby. Not to mention that many of those ingredients are highly processed, man-made, or genetically engineered. Let’s explore the ingredients in Similac Infant Formula to determine what is really in this product.

Similac Infant Formula – Do Your Research

During my pregnancy I didn’t think to research about what to feed my baby when he was born. I did not know much about breastfeeding and figured buying formula was the easiest choice. The free coupons I had made me feel like I was doing something right! I remember going to the store and getting a few cans of free formula without even glancing at the ingredients. Being a new mom-to-be, I had full trust in what the formula companies provided for babies. As my pregnancy progressed, I did my fair share of research and made the decision to give away those cans of formula.

Did you know that Similac means “similar to lactation?” Most formula companies claim that they’ve created a product that comes pretty close to breast milk. Don’t be fooled. Breast milk contains many ingredients that cannot be duplicated by the formula companies. Let’s take a look at several of the ingredients in Similac Infant Formula.

similac infant formula

Nonfat Milk

Nonfat milk is the first ingredient on the list and is one of the reasons why formula has a long shelf life. Milk, in powdered form, can be preserved for many months without spoiling.


This sugar is a component of milk. There is a 9% lactose content in breast milk and 4.7% in cow’s milk.

Whey Protein Concentrate

There is a higher percentage of whey protein found in breast milk (60%) compared to cow’s milk (20%). Formula companies try to mimic the amount of whey protein found in human milk by using whey protein concentrate. Additionally, it is the least expensive form of whey protein.

High Oleic Safflower Oil

Manufacturers commonly use this ingredient in processed food. The reason why manufacturers use high oleic safflower oil is to extend the shelf life of their products.

Soy Oil

This is extracted from soybean seeds. It is an ingredient in paints and printer ink because of its drying property. This means that it hardens when exposed to air. Soybeans are on the top list of GMO crops which makes it an inexpensive ingredient and available to manufacturers year-round. According to Dr. Mercola, this is one of the most harmful ingredients in processed foods.

Coconut Oil

This is probably one of the healthiest ingredients in Similac Infant Formula. The coconut oil in formula is a healthy fat and helps keep the formula more shelf-stable.

Cupric Sulfate

Cupric sulfate (or copper sulfate) is a pesticide, herbicide and fungicide. It is classified as an irritant, dangerous to the environment, and harmful. Along with soy oil it is a formula ingredient for its drying properties. Here are some common uses:

  • Prevention of algae overgrowth in swimming pools
  • Treatment of parasitic infections in aquarium fish
  • A snail removal solution in aquariums
  • Wood preservative
  • Used in anemia blood tests
  • Used in chemistry experiments

Exposure to this “ingredient” can lead to many health problems.

There are several other ingredients in Similac Infant Formula that are questionable such as synthetic vitamins and minerals. Why are they in baby formula?

Formula Alternatives

Finally, here are several alternatives to store-bought formula to consider using instead:

Did you know these ingredients were in Similac’s infant formula?

Kelly is a stay-at-home mom and takes pride in being a Navy wife. She is a first time mom living in California and has over a year's worth of breastfeeding experience. When she's not out exploring the new place she's in, thanks to the military life, she is keeping up with her blog Hiccups and Sunshine. You can also follow Kelly on Facebook.


  1. I understand where you are going with this post. However, I could not breastfeed my baby due to health problems. I also could not afford formula (at least the amount needed for a baby each month). I am currently on WIC and this is my only choice. People like you make those of us doing our best to feed our babies feel like horrible mothers. I trust God with the life and health of my children. Perhaps you could sympathize a little for people who have no other options.

    • Hi Kristy,
      I totally agree that we need to trust God with the life of our children, but I also realize that we have responsibility to do the best for them that we are able. “Able” being the operative word. Both my first son as well as my last 2 (twins) were supplemented with formula for a short time while in the hospital as they were all born early. I am fully aware that there are some times that mom’s must use formula and I’m glad we live in a place where it is readily available for moms who need it.

      I don’t believe the author of this post had any intention of trying to place any guilt upon mom’s who choose to use formula. Actually, when you read the post she presents factual, well-researched information. She makes no value judgements at all on mom’s who formula feed. Part of the thing we want to do at Breastfeeding Place is to offer women, such as yourself, who can’t breastfeed for whatever reason, information on other viable alternatives. We want you to have the best information possible in order to make the best decision you can for your child. We know we can’t depend on formula companies to give out that information.

      We’re a new site, so we don’t have as large of a collection as we will in the future, but we do have information on breast milk banks and want to inform moms about receiving donor milk from other mom’s they know. We will also continue to compare and contrast different brands of formula and look at their ingredients so mom’s can make well informed decisions. This is all in an attempt to support and inform mom’s in their infant feeding decisions.

    • I was going to say almost the exact same thing as Kristy. This article could definitely use a more loving approach.

    • If after reading the article about the CHEMICALS found in BABY formula, your only comeback is “you make ME feel like a horrible mother”, I question what kind of mother you are. Is it really all about YOU?

    • Hi, I am in the same boat as you and there are ways around feeding your baby something that is unhealthy. First, don’t be mad at the author for informing you. Knowledge is power. If you receive WIC, then you should also be receiving Medicaid. Nature One Babies Only Formula is organic, GMO free, corn syrup free, and the next best thing to breast milk or making your own formula. Now, depending on where you live Medicaid may reimburse you for the formula because it is considered a medical formula. Do some research and call your Medicaid provider and hopefully you can still receive free formula and have a healthy happy baby 🙂

  2. I formula-fed my triplets for several months while I was working to bring my supply up. I knew “breast was best” but was doing everything I could to get them to the breast and my supply where it needed to be. If I had seen this article back then and known what each ingredient was and how harmful they can be, you better believe I would have FOUND the energy to find an alternative.

    The author did an excellent job of simply laying out the shocking ingredients for what millions of mothers unknowingly give their babies. I didn’t feel any guilt over this – I know I did the best I could with the information I had at the time.

    Thanks for sharing so that mothers who are on the fence about breastfeeding or formula-feeding can make an informed decision!

  3. I found the article very helpful and short……which is what I need as a busy mommy. I appreciate its concise words, and overall I think the breastfeeding place is careful not to try to shame moms for using formula and often comments and supports moms that cannot breastfeed.

  4. I can see where those that think the article is about making you feel guilty are coming from.
    But that leaves you in a position of no power. The article & the writer have your power and that’s a shame and leaves you helpless.

    How about looking at it from a place of holding your own power?
    1. This is great info. Because of what I’ve learned I’m going to look for other alternatives because i want my baby to be as healthy as possible knowing that if this is all i can afford, then I’m doing the best i can with what i have. But at least this article has sparked me to go searching and not be so trusting of these so called *food* companies who I thought i could trust.
    2. This is great info, why doesn’t everyone know this. I’m sickened by what these companies are doing to people like me. I’m going to start to inform others and maybe together we can *make* these companies provide a healthy alternative that people like me can afford.

    See, if you shoot the messenger, the focus is still not on the fucked up companies that are counting on us all staying ignorant. They are doing horrific things to us and our children. WE ARE THEY’RE GUINEA PIGS.

    Why don’t we direct that energy towards making THEM change?

    So let me end with where i started…

    I can see where those that think the article is about making you feel guilty are coming from.
    But that leaves you in a position of no power. The article & the writer have your power and that’s a shame and leaves you helpless. There is a HUGE benefit to someone who ONLY wants to blame the article & the writer…
    You never have to wake up and change. Cause change is hard, it takes work/effort. So if you decide to continue to blame the writer of the article then the correct statement is:

    “I’m too lazy and don’t care about the health of myself or my baby so I’ll stay in the dark to what these *food* companies are doing. I’ll blindly believe what they say and be their guinea pig and hope that I never experience any health horrors but i’m willing to gamble my life and that of my child.”

    NOTE: this statement is not true before you find out that these companies & their *food* are not good…ONLY afterwards if you decide to shut your eyes to the deceit & crime.

    • Vellner richardson says

      I totally agree . My son and a couple of my grandkids were formula fed babies. And I really believe that the long term affects that it has had on them stem from feeding this crap!! I truly believe that this is a way to destroy generations of healthy children. I am older now and do research and I believe between the soy and the managanese in formula we have homosexual and children with ADHD and other problems, especially with our boys, not slighting what problems it has caused our girls.

  5. I understand a healthy level of concern for what you feed your baby is necessary, but have you really done your research. Cupric Sulfate – yes it can do those things, but you must consider the level being introduced and the other substances it is combined with. It made me think of salt, vinegar or baking soda. Things we use every day for multiple reasons, cleaning, eating, disinfecting… Salt can also be very bad for us and if consumed in high levels can be poisonous. What you forgot to say is Cupric Sulfate is an antidote for phosphate poisoning. Also, copper is an essential trace mineral we are naturally exposed to. It is important to make sure all the facts are presented in order to be seen as providing credible information. The question is not if Cupric Sulfate is good or bad for us, the question is if we will weigh both sides of the facts prior to making a public statement against it.

    • Reading this over three years later, became frustrated of hearing a trace element being called a pesticide, and was about to write till I saw you phrased it much better than I would have. Thanks Heather!

    • Finally some damn sense in this comment section ????

  6. Kelly,

    Thanks for this information and the courage to put it out there. I agree with Aeryn, knowledge is power. Often people ignore the truth because it is too much to take, especially compiled with the stress of caring for a newborn. Finding out you can’t breast fed can be devastating. Being left to feed your baby commercial formula adds to that devastation. I am commenting here only to encourage parents not to settle for commercial formulas. My husband and I have 3 children and live off one modest salary. I use the Weston A Price baby formula recipe. It is expensive initially. If you can put in the effort to get the ingredients on sale you can minimize the cost. At first I was terrified to begin feeding it to our little one but she is now 6 months old and doing very well on it. I know each and everything that I put into her bottles and that makes me feel better. Good luck!


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