US-based infant formula maker Mead Johnson Nutrition Co. has secured EU approval for a health claim on infant formula.

The company said the green light from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) made it the first infant formula maker to receive approval for a health claim on the product.

An EFSA panel backed scientific evidence from Mead Johnson that DHA "contributes to the visual development of infants".

The panel said a formula must contain 0.3% of the total fatty acids DHA to bear the claim, Mead Johnson said.

Dirk Hondmann, senior vice president for global R&D at Mead Johnson, said the company was "extremely pleased" with the verdict.

"It exemplifies our mission to create nutritional brands and products trusted to give infants and children the best start in life," Hondmann said.

Last month, Mead Johnson, which makes the Enfa range of infant and children's food products, was listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Pharmaceutical group Bristol-Myers Squibb retains an 85% stake in the business.