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Nestle baby formula pulled off the shelves
By Shao Xiaoyi (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-05-27 05:30

HANGZHOU: A type of milk powder produced by international food firm Nestle was found to contain too much iodine, according to a survey conducted by quality inspection authorities in Zhejiang Province.

The "Jin Pai Growing 3-Milk Powder," produced by the Heilongjiang-based Shuang Cheng Nestle Co Ltd, failed to meet national standards over iodine content.

A child and his mother select Nestle formula milk powder in Shanghai in this August 23, 2004 file photo. A type of Nestle formula powder has been found to contain excessive amount of iodine. [newsphoto]
Every 100 grams of milk powder for infants and young children is allowed to contain 30-150 micrograms of iodine, according to State standards.

"This is the first time we have found milk powder containing excessive iodine in recent years," said Bian Yuyang, an official from the Zhejiang Administration of Industry and Commerce.

Bian said the iodine content of the milk powder was slightly higher than acceptable standards.

This kind of milk powder sells well in big supermarkets in Zhejiang Province, said Bian.

Nestle has launched an examination of its products and raw materials to find the reason for the test failure, according to a statement released yesterday by Nestle.

The statement said the situation was caused by fluctuations of iodine contained in fresh milk, the main ingredient of this product.

"We always try our best to ensure Nestle products' high quality and safety," said the statement.

The statement also said that the milk powder was still safe and their new test results indicated the iodine content matched International Food Standards for infants and children.

However, experts said children would suffer from goitre, a condition caused by a deficiency or an excess in iodine.

"Consumers have no need to panic because whether the milk powder will cause goitre or not depends on the total amount absorbed daily," said Ding Yuting, a food professor from the Food Research Institute under the Zhejiang University of Technology.

If children suffer from goitre after consuming the milk powder, they should stop taking it, Ding said.

Although this sets people's minds at rest, it does not mean we want poor-quality products on the market, Ding added.

The milk powder has already been pulled from shelves in supermarkets in the whole province, said officials from the Provincial Administration of Industry and Commerce.

(China Daily 05/27/2005 page3)

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