China probes new baby milk formula scandal: report

BEIJING: China appears to have been hit by another baby milk scandal as officials in the southern Hunan province are probing a fake milk formula which resulted in severe health complications in babies.
Officials in Yongxing county in Chenzhou are investigating the sale of a protein drink known as Bei An Min allegedly passed off as milk formula at the outlet Love Baby’s Workshop, Hong-Kong based South China Morning Post reported on Thursday, quoting local media reports.
The parents of five children alerted the county’s market supervision authority that their babies developed eczema, a condition that makes your skin red and itchy, had dramatic weight loss and developed a swollen head after having the drink.
The children would also slap themselves on the head repeatedly and were all diagnosed with rickets, the report said.
Chinese parents rely mostly on foreign baby milk powder brands following a number of scandals. In 2008, six babies died and 300,000 others were taken ill by baby milk laced with melamine, a toxic chemical used to make plastics.
In 2003, in Fuyang, Anhui province, 13 babies died and 171 required medical treatment after being fed substandard milk.
According to Hunan TV, which first reported the latest cases on Monday, parents went to the store to buy an amino acid-based milk powder for their babies who were allergic to regular formula.
Shop staff recommended Bei An Min, saying it was the best formula in the store and had been fed to many infants with allergies.
One of the parents, identified as Zhu, said the product was labelled as a protein drink but the shop assistants said that it was just another name for baby milk formula.
“When I bought it, no one told me it was just a regular drink. They all said it was milk formula,” Zhu was quoted as saying.
Another mother, surnamed Chen, said she became concerned when others noticed her child’s swollen forehead, Hunan TV reported.
It was not clear how long the babies had been fed the powder but all were underweight, were stunted and had a vitamin D deficiency, the report said.
One mother wrote on news app Toutiao that she fed her baby the powder for six months before a doctor advised her to switch to another brand.
“Six months went on, I found my baby didn’t grow and couldn’t walk at the age of 18 months,” she wrote.
“Now I realise that my baby drank fake baby milk formula … I worry that there will be health problems in the future,” she said. (AGENCIES)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here