China: Are imports to blame for latest infant formula problems?

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Related tags: Infant formula, Milk

China: Are imports to blame for latest infant formula problems?
More problems with infant formula milk powder have been found in China, but this time it's not domestic dairies but imports that are being blamed.

According to the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine (AQSIQ), a recent inspection found 72 kilograms of infant formula imported from Heinz Australia had quality problems, prompting a recall.

The watchdog, while releasing a list of substandard imported foods last week, said that the product, had more Vitamin B2 and less Vitamin B5 than label listings.

Excess of Vitamin B2 is known to cause nose bleeding and skin itchiness, while insufficient Vitamin B5 can cause cause digestion problems.

Nanchang-based Karicare International Trading Co. imported the food products, the watchdog said, adding that the exporter was notified of the recall.

Heinz has a local presence in China with Heinz United Ltd, a joint venture between the international entity and Yan Tang Enterprise Corp. However, it was made clear that none of these products were traced to that company.

Beyond China

Imports of infant formula have been in the news lately. Earlier this month, Hong Kong said it planned to test babies over concerns two brands of Japanese infant milk formula were iodine deficient.

This announcement came after Hong Kong’s Center for Food Safety (CFS) said standard tests for energy and nutrient levels revealed that the Wakodo and Morinaga brands had low iodine levels.

Also this month, local media reports said that infant formula from Mead Johnson was found to contain live worms by consumers, although the company denied this and no watchdog confirmed it.

According to AQSIQ, a total of 124 imported food products have been found to be of poor quality, all of whom were destroyed on the spot or recalled.

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