CHINA: Baby Food Blues

LEXIE TUCKER WRITES – It’s bad enough when regular food is messed with, but it’s even worse when the food is meant for babies.

After a media report exposed safety problems, the Chinese subsidiary of Hero Group, a major Swiss baby formula producer, has been suspected of purposely mislabeling milk powder. In response to this investigative report, Hero Nutradefense labels on baby formula have been removed from store shelves in Chinese cities such as Shanghai, Beijing, and Chengdu, as well as major online shopping sites.

In addition, the Shanghai food safety office has begun an inquiry into the Shanghai branch of the Xile Li’er Import and Export Co., an authorized dealer of Hero Group goods. Allegedly, Xile Li’er is suspected of smuggling baby formula powder created exclusively for the European market by Hero Group and relabeling it as Nutradefense baby formula. This is the company that Xile Li’er has a legal import certificate with.

As if things couldn’t get worse, of the 17 batches of formula with the Nutradefense label that have been tested, at least 7 have failed to meet appropriate protein levels. China Central Television (CCTV) stated that Xile Li’er supposedly combined expired milk powder into Nutradefense products, altered production and expiration dates, and then repackaged them.

Seems like Xile Li’er’s sweet plan for financial gain has gone sour.

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