Our children are our most precious resources. Their safety is always our main concern. Parents trying to ensure that their babies are safe are subjected to all kinds of corporate marketing…TV, billboards, magazines and other mass media campaigns that try to convince them to buy products. Products that are, above all, safe for our children. Unfortunately, corporate promises can be misleading, and babies’ health can be in danger as a result.

New Zealand dairy exporter, Fonterra, has recalled baby formula potentially contaminated with Clostridium botulinum, according to several news media sources. The New York Times (8/6, B3, Hutchison, Subscription Publication, 1.68M) reports that Fonterra apologized for the contamination of “an infant milk formula ingredient” with Clostridium botulinum, “traced to a pipe that had not been cleaned properly in one of its…processing plants.” Much of the infant formula was exported to China, where many “consumers prefer to buy imported products because of problems involving domestic brands.” Fonterra officials said the contaminated whey protein batches “were produced in May 2012,” but the company did not discover the contamination until testing was done in Australia in March.

The Wall Street Journal (8/6, B6, Howard, Burkitt, Subscription Publication, 2.29M) reports that New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, said that the contamination was damaging to both Fonterra and New Zealand, noting questions regarding how long Fonterra took to trace and announce the contamination and announcing that an investigation into the contamination would be conducted. Fonterra said that eight customers were informed about the contaminated whey protein, including three food companies, two beverage companies, and three animal feed manufacturers.
Reuters (8/6, Beckford, Rajagopalan) reports that Fonterra CEO Theo Spierings said bans on Fonterra products had not been imposed by China.  Instead, restrictions on whey protein concentrate were put in place.  The restrictions are expected to be lifted after Chinese officials receive a report on how the contamination occurred.

According to Fonterra officials, “90 percent of affected products are in warehouses and the company is working to take back the rest from retail stores’”, Bloomberg News (8/6, Lin) reports. Fonterra officials said that around 17 tons of the contaminated whey “was used by customers in Australia and New Zealand to make about 2,100 tons of baby milk powder,” and the remainder “was used by other customers including Coca-Cola (KO) in other products.” 

The Wall Street Journal (8/6, Qi, Subscription Publication, 2.29M) reports that US-based Abbott Laboratories Chinese division was asked to recall two infant formula products by China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine. The General Administration wrote on its website that New Zealand officials had indicated the two formulas produced by Abbott Laboratories Trading (Shanghai) Co, .Ltd., may have been tainted with Clostridium botulinum.  And, acording to Reuters (8/6, Tajitsu), 80,000 cans of baby formula produced by Cow & Gate has been recalled in Hong Kong and Macau.

If your child or someone you know has consumed contaminated baby formula, you may be able to take action.  We can help!  Please contact the attorneys at Lane & Lane, LLC at 312-332-1400 or visit our website at www.lane-lane.com

 

 

 

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