Kendamil Organic Baby Formula Review and Analysis
This wholesome and nutritious organic baby formula from Kendamil gets our top rating!
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Kendamil is one of the longest-running baby formula companies in Europe, founded in 1962 and sourcing fresh dairy from family farms in the famous Lake District (a UNESCO World Heritage site), and other formula ingredients from local suppliers in Somerset, Kent, and Yorkshire.
Good News! Kendamil has partnered with the U.S. FDA to deliver Kendamil infant formulas to the US as part of Operation Fly Formula! Kendamil organic is difficult to find in stock at big box stores, and we suggest purchasing it online.
Kendamil has a long and consistent history of producing high-quality formulas, and in 2018 they released their first organic baby formula. And they didn't cut any corners, providing the first whole cream and palm oil-free infant formula on the European market.
The company's innovation and commitment to quality have resulted in several awards, including the Gold Medal from Monde Selection as the best organic baby formula in the world, and the UK's Board of Trade Award.
As a testament to the trust that British families place in Kendamil, it was used to feed Prince Louis of Cambridge (the son of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge), and received the Royal Queen's Award in 2020!
To review Kendamil organic formulas, we tested them ourselves and consulted with a developmental nutritionist to assess ingredients and nutritional contents relative to USA guidelines.
Spoiler alert, we love Kendamil and are really impressed with all they offer. They truly make zero compromises, providing one of the few whole milk baby formulas on the market (also check out Holle Pre), and filling it with only the best ingredients for your baby. Not only does Kendamil conform to European (EU), British, and US guidelines, but they go above and beyond with the inclusion of not only fatty acids (DHA, ALA, LA), but also choline, inositol, and amino acids.
As you know from our reviews of organic baby formulas, we rarely say such positive things about any baby product, never mind something you're going to feed your baby on a daily basis!
- Kendamil Comparison Table
- Take-Home Message
- Some Translations to Know
- Kendamil Farming Practices
- EU Organic Farming
- Kendamil Ingredients
- Kendamil Stage 1 Ingredients
- Kendamil Stage 2 Ingredients
- Kendamil Stage 3 Ingredients
- Kendamil Stages: Ingredient Differences
- Kendamil Nutritional Analysis
- USDA Formula Recommendations
- Kendamil Stage 1 Nutrition
- Kendamil Stage 2 Nutrition
- Kendamil Stage 3 Nutrition
- Kendamil Testing in Infants
- Where to Buy Kendamil
- References Cited
Kendamil Formulas: Take-home Message
Most people don't want to read this entire article to see what we found. So here is the summary of what we loved, and what we didn't.
✔️ High-quality organic formulation.
✔️ British Lakes Region organic milk.
✔️ Nutrition near FDA & USDA standards.
✔️ First ingredient is whole milk.
✔️ Nothing artificial.
✔️ No Maltodextrin in any stage.
✔️ No sucrose or corn syrups.
✔️ Gluten & soy-free.
✔️ No palm oil.
✔️ Omega-3 via DHA & ALA.
✔️ Omega-6 via LA.
✔️ Inositol & Choline in Stage 1.
✔️ Amino Acids.
✔️ High infant acceptance, good taste.
✔️ No gas, indigestion, or constipation.
✔️ Prebiotics via GOS.
❌ No probiotics (but this is UK policy).
No Translations Needed!
Because Kendamil is a British company, all of their labels are in English, so no translations are needed.
This is a welcome addition to the organic baby formula market, making it much easier for American parents to know exactly what they are feeding their babies without relying on a vendor's (sometimes poor) translations.
Kendamil is made in Great Britain using organic Lakes Region whole milk and EU-certified organic ingredients. Kendamil makes several infant and toddler formulas, including the awesome Kendamil Goat milk formula as well.
Relative to the USDA Organic certification process in the USA, the European Union has stricter organic regulations. Once you receive approvals through the extended certification process, you can display the below (center) star leaf icon on your products.
By comparison, Kendamil meets the 98% minimum organic content requirement of the EU requirement, which is a bit more stringent than the 95% minimum organic content requirement of the USDA's certification process.
What are the EU's organic regulations?
While Kendamil is made in Great Britain which is not part of the European Union, they do sell their products throughout the EU and therefore must conform to broader EU organic requirements.
Fortunately for you, the EU has a very strict system of organic controls, including a rigorous annual inspection process to verify continuing conformance.
Here are the specific organic regulatory criteria for the EU certification process:
- No protecting plants by using synthetic chemicals such as herbicides or pesticides.
- No use of soluble mineral fertilizers.
- No application of chemical growth regulators.
- Feeding animals with farm-grown feed, not purchased feed, when possible.
- No use of antibiotics other than to treat an infection.
Kendamil goes a bit further and only sources their dairy ingredients from within Great Britain, decreasing the risk that any foreign suppliers are not meeting their relatively stringent requirements.
The Kendamil formulas are EU certified by the Soil Association Certification, Ltd, bearing the label GB-ORG-05. Soil Association Certification, Ltd, is a registered organic certification body, located in Bristol, UK.
Kendamil Formula Ingredients
Kendamil formulas contain very high-quality ingredients and go beyond British, EU, and US requirements to include Omega fatty acids, amino acids, inositol, choline, and naturally occurring MFGM (more on that later).
The use of locally sourced ingredients from the Lake District and other local regions will provide some intangible benefits for the quality of their infant and toddler formulas. While these benefits may not appear on an ingredients label, this usually means that there is a lower risk of the products containing all the nasty stuff you don't want to occur (even in trace amounts), like pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, or heavy metals.
Here are the ingredients in each of the Kendamil baby formulas (note that the image may be slightly different from the below text, please use the text as the more definitive source):
Kendamil Stage 1 Ingredients (updated 11/23): Organic Grass-Fed Whole Milk, Organic Demineralised Milk Whey Protein Powder, Organic Skimmed Milk, Organic Blend Of Oils (Sunflower Oil, Coconut Oil, Rapeseed Oil), Organic Galacto-Oligosaccharides (A Type Of Prebiotic), Less Than 2% Of: Mortierella Alpina Oil (A Plant-Based Source Of Arachidonic Acid (Ara)), Schizochytrium Sp. Oils (A Plant-Based Source Of Docosahexaenoic Acid (Dha)), Calcium Citrate, Sodium Citrate, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Lactate, Magnesium Chloride, Potassium Hydroxide, Choline Bitartrate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Sulfate, Inositol, Taurine, Nucleotides (Cytidine-5'-Monophosphate, Disodium Uridine5'-Monophosphate, Adenosine-5'-Monophosphate, Disodium Inosine-5'-Monophosphate, Disodium Guanosine-5'-Monophosphate), Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin K, Vitamin D3, Biotin, Vitamin B12.
Kendamil Stage 2 Ingredients: Organic Whole Milk, Organic Skimmed Milk, Organic lactose (from milk), Organic demineralized milk whey protein powder, Organic Vegetable Oils (Sunflower, Coconut, Rapeseed), Organic Galacto-Oligosaccharides (From Milk), Calcium Citrate, Sodium Citrate, Magnesium Chloride, Oil from the microalgae Schizochytrium sp., Potassium Chloride, Vitamin C, Potassium Hydroxide, Oil from Mortierella alpina, Taurine, Nucleotides (Cytidine-5’-Monophosphate, Disodium Uridine-5’-Monophosphate, Adenosine-5’-Monophosphate, Disodium Inosine-5’Monophosphate, Disodium Guanosine-5’ Monophosphate), Iron Pyrophosphate, Zinc Sulfate, Vitamin E, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Copper Sulfate, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Manganese Sulfate, Folic Acid, Potassium Iodide, Sodium Selenite, Vitamin K, Vitamin D3, Biotin, Vitamin B12.
Kendamil Stage 3 Ingredients: Organic Whole Milk, Organic Skimmed Milk, Organic lactose (from milk), Organic Vegetable Oils (Sunflower, Coconut, Rapeseed), Organic Galacto-Oligosaccharides (From Milk), Calcium phosphate, Calcium lactate, Potassium hydroxide, Calcium citrate, Vicamin C, Oil from the microalgae Schizochytrium sp., Potassium carbonate, Iron pyrophosphate, Vitamin E, Zinc sulphate, Niacin, Pantothenic acid, Copper sulphate, Vitamin A, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Manganese sulphate, Folic acid, Sodium selenite, Vitamin K, Potassium iodide, Vitamin D3, Biotin, Vitamin B12.
Here are some ingredients that we did not find in any stages of Kendamil: food starch, maltodextrin, corn syrup or corn syrup solids, palm oil, artificial colors, artificial flavors, preservatives, sucrose, soy, gluten, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), carrageenan, or high fructose corn syrup.
Some ingredients to highlight: There weren't any ingredients we were unhappy with, but here are a few things that stood out:
Natural MFGM: This is milk fat globule membrane, which is a natural membrane that surrounds the tiny bits of fat in real breast milk. Why should you care about this membrane? Research shows that it is correlated with healthy brain development and cognitive outcomes (see references).
Prebiotics via GOS: This is galactooligosaccharides, which are dietary prebiotics that help promote a healthy gut microbiome through benefits to intestinal microbiota and gut barrier function. Research shows that the prebiotics in infant formula are beneficial for digestion and reducing the rates of gas and colic (and they are more effective than probiotics, see references).
Plant-based DHA Omega 3: Docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, is commonly sourced from fish. While some parents don't mind this, some prefer a vegetarian option, and some with very sensitive noses don't appreciate smelling a hint of fish oil in their baby formula. Kendamil uses a plant-based DHA, sourced from algae (this is how fish get DHA into their bodies too because algae are in their food chain).
Kendamil Stages: Ingredient Differences
1. Kendamil Stage 1 versus Stage 2: There are two main differences between Kendamil Stages 1 and 2. First, Stage 2 adds in a bit of extra lactose sourced from milk, which gives it a bit higher lactose content (about 6% more, in grams per serving) than Stage 1. Second, Stage 2 removes choline, inositol, and the amino acid L-carnitine, and adds in a tiny bit of fluoride. Stage 1 is intended for birth to 6 months, and Stage 2 is for 6-12 months.
2. Kendamil Stage 2 versus Stage 3: There are three main differences between Kendamil Stages 2 and 3. First, Stage 3 removes the whey protein powder, though the protein content actually increases relative to Stage 2 likely due to a compensatory increase in the whole milk and lactose content. Second, Stage 3 adds a tiny bit of salt and removes the fluoride found in Stage 2. Third, Stage 3 removes the Mortierella alpina, which is a source of EPA (an Omega fatty acid). Stage 2 is intended for 6-12 months, and Stage 3 is for 12-36 months.
To examine whether Kendamil baby formulas come close to the stringent US nutritional recommendations put forth by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA, see references), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), we consulted with a dietician nutritionist with expertise in infant feeding.
Note that the US FDA also publishes minimum infant formula nutritional requirements (see references), but all of the Kendamil formulas meet these published standards (this is why they are approved for sale in the U.S.), and they are only relevant for 0-6 months. Because the Kendamil formulas already meet the FDA minimum requirements, we used the more general USDA daily intake recommendations as a guideline.
The USDA does not publish recommended daily allowances (RDAs) for infants between 0-6 months. Instead, they publish information about Adequate Intake (AI), which is used when there is not enough evidence to make a formal RDA. The AI is set at a level assumed to provide nutritional adequacy.
Here are the USDA's AIs (per day) for infants aged 0-6 months, and 6-12 months. Units are grams (g), milligrams (mg), and micrograms (μg).
USDA Nutritional Recommendations:
Given that the Stage 1 Kendamil formula is intended for use from birth to 6 months, we evaluated its nutritional content against the USDA 0-6 month recommendations. For the Stage 2 and 3 versions, we evaluated against the USDA 6-12 month recommendations.
Because the USDA recommendations are for daily intake, we considered the daily intake recommended by Kendamil in their "Feeding Guide." Stage 1 suggests an average of about 110 grams of formula per day for the first 6 months; of course, this is lower (about 80 grams) for the first month, then increases with age to over 120g/day.
To derive an estimate of how much nutritional content a baby would receive each day when using Kendamil organic Stage 1, we used the average recommended serving for the first 6 months (about 110 grams of formula per day). This will overestimate nutrients in early months, and underestimate them for later months.
As you will see from our analysis, this isn't cause for much concern.
Does Kendamil Stage 1 Meet USDA Nutritional Recommendations?
In general, yes, very similar to US-made baby formulas. Here is a table comparing the USDA recommendation for 0-6 months to what the Kendamil Stage 1 provides (in about 110g of formula):
|Stage 1: 61.6g
|Stage 1: 12.1g
|Stage 1: 30g
|Stage 1: 0.63g
|Stage 1: 5.1g
|Stage 1: 429μg
|Stage 1: 0.55mg
|Stage 1: 1.5mg
|Stage 1: 0.44mg
|Stage 1: 1.4μg
|Stage 1: 77mg
|Stage 1: 11.4μg
|Stage 1: 11.4mg
|Stage 1: 30.8μg
|Stage 1: 165μg
|Stage 1: 5.2mg
|Stage 1: 402mg
|Stage 1: 5.8mg
Notice how close all of those numbers are to each other, with Kendamil meeting or exceeding all USDA nutritional recommendations. The fat is slightly lower than USDA guidance, which is very common in European baby formulas. Specifically, European formulas tend to have slightly higher protein and slightly lower fat than American baby formulas.
USDA guidance for fat is 31g per day, which precisely matches how much fat is in breast milk (about 4.2g per 100mL, or 30.8g per 100g). Kendamil comes in at about 30g/day, which is actually higher than most European baby formulas such as Loulouka, HiPP Combiotic, or Holle Stage 1.
We compared the Kendamil Stage 1 nutritional profile with the most popular Similac and Enfamil (American) formulas. Note that those are usually slightly low relative to those USDA recommendations (Similac and Enfamil are usually around 27g of fat per 100g of formula).
In other words, Kendamil Stage 1 provides an overall nutritional profile similar to the major American baby formula brands.
Does Kendamil Stage 2 Meet USDA Nutritional Recommendations?
In looking at the USDA recommendations for infants 6-12 months of age, you realize that they recommend about 140-150g/day of formula. That equates to about 32 scoops (4.6g/scoop) per day, which is about 960mL per day of the prepared Stage 2 formula. Clearly, that's a ton of formula and unlikely to be the case with your 6-12 month-old baby, since you'll likely be supplementing formula with at least some oatmeal and/or rice cereal.
Here is a table comparing the USDA recommendation for 6-12 months to what the Kendamil Stage 2 provides (in 150g of formula):
|Stage 2: 89.1g
|Stage 2: 16.5g
|Stage 2: 35.1g
|Stage 2: 0.64g
|Stage 2: 4.7g
|Stage 2: 645μg
|Stage 2: 0.74mg
|Stage 2: 1.5mg
|Stage 2: 0.6mg
|Stage 2: 2.1μg
|Stage 2 90mg
|Stage 2: 15.9μg
|Stage 2: 15mg
|Stage 2: 42μg
|Stage 2: 263μg
|Stage 2: 6.6mg
|Stage 2: 675mg
|Stage 2: 8.3mg
For Stage 2, the Kendamil comes in over the protein and fat recommendations of USDA, and slightly under the carbohydrate recommendation. In other words, the Stage 2 formula is shifting towards a higher protein and fat diet, with lower sugars.
From 0-6 months to 6-12 months, the USDA shifts the relative proportion of carbohydrates up, and proteins and fats down. This is a difference in European versus American feeding recommendations, with proportions shifting in opposite directions as babies move from Stage 1 to Stage 2.
Which is the right guideline to follow? Our opinion is that the EU standards are more in line with current research, whereas the USDA guidelines are relatively dated. But that's just an opinion, and research is constantly changing!
Does Kendamil Stage 3 Meet USDA Nutritional Recommendations?
As with Stage 2, we use the USDA 6-12 month recommendations. Stage 3 is always a difficult comparison to make because your child will also be eating many first foods (oatmeal and rice cereals, purees) by the time they are 12+ months. Those solid foods will complement any feeding done with a Stage 3 formula, making any estimates of formula quantity to fulfill the caloric needs of a 12+ month-old baby a bit unreasonable.
For example, to get 145g/day of Stage 3 formula, that would take about 31 scoops of the product, and over 1000mL of prepared formula per day (about 5 servings). That's pretty excessive! More reasonably, your child will be consuming about 2-3 servings of Stage 3, along with a couple of servings of cereals and purees.
In any event, here is what Kendamil Stage 3 provides, at a 150g/day serving:
|Stage 3: 88g
|Stage 3: 19.5g
|Stage 3: 30.9g
|Stage 3: 0.47g
|Stage 3: 3.8g
|Stage 3: 690μg
|Stage 3: 0.83mg
|Stage 3: 1.5mg
|Stage 3: 0.57mg
|Stage 3: 2.7μg
|Stage 3: 120mg
|Stage 3: 16.5μg
|Stage 3: 16mg
|Stage 3: 45μg
|Stage 3: 288μg
|Stage 3: 7.8mg
|Stage 3: 1290mg
|Stage 3: 11mg
In terms of macronutrients (proteins, fats, carbohydrates), you'll notice that Stage 3 is very similar to Stage 2 in its nutritional composition and proportions. In general, it meets USDA recommendations but prioritizes proteins and fats rather than carbohydrates, which is the opposite of the American tendency to prioritize carbohydrates over proteins and fats.
In 2020, the EU passed (well, it was passed in 2016, but enforcement started in February 2020) a requirement that baby formulas include Omega-3, and this is a new addition to most European formulas. This is why you see DHA and ALA appearing in new European formulas.
Most parents begin to introduce solid foods in addition to formula or breastfeeding. These usually first include rice and/or oatmeal cereals, and then progress to fruit and vegetable purees. These will complement the nutrition found solely in the formula, including additional iron and carbohydrates.
Some parents might be interested to learn that many European baby formulas contain trace levels of fluoride. This is not added by the manufacturer, but appears in trace amounts (e.g., <0.015mg per 100mL prepared formula) due to the water used during manufacturing. For Kendamil, this only occurs in Stage 2. This level of fluoride is equivalent to about 0.15 mg of fluoride in a liter of prepared formula, which is much less than found in bottled water (about 0.4mg per liter), and way less than found in fluoridated tap water (about 5mg per liter).
Testing in Infants
Stage 1, Stage 2, and Stage 3 varieties of Kendamil were donated to us for testing.
We tested Stage 1 in a 2-month-old formula-fed baby (he typically feeds with Similac) and a 4-month-old breast-fed baby (mom has supplemented only twice with formula). The 4-month-old's mom reports difficulties with constipation when attempting to use formula.
We tested Stage 2 in an 8-month-old formula-fed baby, and Stage 3 in two toddlers, one 15 months and one 17 months.
Mixing and Taste-Testing
The Kendamil mixes very easily with warm water and doesn't leave any film or residue after preparing the bottle. See the picture below, worth a thousand words, showing that we didn't experience any clumping, bubbling, or excessive foaming during or after mixing the formula. And did you notice how there is no residue on the inside walls of the bottle? We love to see that!
While we're showcasing Stage 1 in the picture, all three stages are mixed very nicely with water. To prepare the formula, we followed the instructions: boil water and leave it to cool for about 10 minutes (corresponding to about 99 degrees F), add the correct number of leveled scoops of formula (using the convenient straight-edge in the container to level the scoops!), close the bottle cap and shake until the formula is dissolved. Then, put a nipple on the bottle, cool it to 37 degrees C (about 99 deg F), and feed.
In terms of texture and taste, we found it to be very rich and creamy, a lot like the Holle Pre (which also uses whole milk). When we tried it ourselves, it tasted very sweet likely due to the high lactose content.
It has very good flow through slow-flow or medium-flow nipples.
Notice how the bubbles and foam settled very nicely after mixing and sitting for about 10 minutes to cool to around 99deg F. Want to learn more about that PopYum bottle? Check out our list of the Best Baby Bottles of the year.
By the way, the tins that Kendamil comes in are amazing and so much easier than the classic cardboard containers, with a flip-top lid and flat inside edge so you can level off the scoops of formula - nice touch!
Safety First: Never prepare powdered formula with anything but water. If you're interested in fortifying your breast milk with formula you must ask your doctor for guidance first, as this can be very dangerous for your baby.
Feeding with Kendamil
The three infants and two toddlers all seemed to take to Kendamil very quickly. None of them rejected it or seemed displeased with it, even the 4-month-old breastfed baby.
All of them seemed to like the taste and the bottle-fed babies and toddlers drank their usual amount or more.
The breastfed baby did develop a bit of gas after, which the mom says is common whenever she's tried formula in the past. We suggested that if she's inclined to continue trying formulas, to attempt one with probiotics to aid digestion, such as the HiPP Combiotik formulas. Note that the UK does not allow infant formulas to contain probiotics, which is why both Kendamil and the UK HiPP Combiotic do not contain them.
None of the other babies or toddlers developed any noticeable gas relative to their usual post-feeding burps. The same goes for constipation and bowel movements, which the parents reported proceeded as usual after feeding a few times with Kendamil formulas.
Both toddlers we tested are already eating a ton of finger foods and purees, so there's no real need for formula, but the parents kept the Stage 2 and 3 tins and will use the rest since their toddlers seem to enjoy the flavor, and it's filling.
This was our first time trying out the Kendamil organic baby formulas, and we were really excited to give them a shot.
The organic baby formula market is expanding rapidly, especially in the European market, but it's challenging to compete with companies like HiPP and Holle having ruled this market for several decades.
European baby formulas are becoming increasingly common in the US, as parents look to the EU to find high-quality, organic baby formulas that they can trust (and afford!).
Overall, we are happy to report that we're excited by several aspects of the Kendamil formulas. Whole milk baby formulas, especially beyond Stage 1, are extremely rare and we're happy to see that Kendamil is holding onto this tradition while most other companies are shifting to skimmed milk. We love that Kendamil is also ahead of EU regulations by including not only Omega 3 but also Omega 6 in their formulas (only Omega 3 in DHA form is required at this point in EU), and also including choline, inositol, and amino acids.
We also love that Kendamil provides very specific and comprehensive labeling for nutritional content, including information regarding the relative proportions of lactose and other carbohydrates. All three stages are lactose-heavy (Stage 1 gets 92% of its carbohydrates from lactose), just like breastmilk. Lactose is also in good quantity in Stages 2 and 3.
The only thing we thought could be improved upon is perhaps the addition of probiotics to aid with digestion in infants with more sensitive tummies, though the UK does not allow these in its formulas.
Overall, the nutritional profile of Kendamil was excellent, coming in near or above FDA and USDA guidelines, which was nice to see and made us feel comfortable using this to not only supplement but also possibly replace breast milk entirely (talk to your doctor first, of course!).
In terms of mixing, taste, and acceptance, the Kendamil formulas were surprisingly similar to breastmilk with a bit more thickness and flavor, and overall acceptance rates were exceptional.
Expensive? Yes. All baby formula is expensive, and Kendamil and other European formula brands are among the most expensive on the market.
In general, HiPP, Loulouka, and Kendamil are not only the best European baby formulas on the market (in our opinion), but also the most expensive at about 6.5 cents per gram. Lebenswert tends to be a bit less expensive, around 5.8 cents per gram, and Topfer tends to be the cheapest at about 4 cents per gram.
Where to Buy Kendamil?
Over the past 10+ years of operating Mommyhood101, we have worked with several companies that import and resell European baby formulas in the United States.
Most of the companies have come and gone, some were pushed out by new FDA labeling requirements for European formulas, and some couldn't maintain their supply chain logistics and tended to ship expired or poorly handled formulas.
One of the only places to purchase Kendamil online in the USA is at the popular website The Milky Box, which sells a huge variety of formulas to US customers and has some of the best prices.
Not only that, but they have free and super fast shipping! Click this link to use our The Milky Box coupon code: mommyhood101 for a 5% discount!
Disclaimer: To our knowledge, all ingredient and nutritional information contained in this article was accurate at the time of publication. We make no guarantees regarding the accuracy or timeliness of the information. Always read the packaging and instructions, and consult with your child's pediatrician before making nutritional and feeding decisions. Baby formulas manufactured and labeled for sale in Europe may or may not be approved for sale in the USA by the FDA or other regulatory bodies, so consumer discretion is advised.