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Ridding the market of fake milk powder

  • Fake milk powder could have been sold all over the country without we realizing it. Photo courtesy: Sin Chew Daily

Sin Chew Daily

Fake milk powder not only has a serious impact on the infants' health but is also hurting the consumers' right. It is therefore imperative that the manufacturers and relevant authorities conduct thorough investigation over this matter to ensure that questionable products will not get their way into the market.

After receiving complaints from milk powder manufacturers, the Johor domestic trade department has launched massive raids at five different areas in Johor Bahru and has confiscated 210 boxes of suspected fake milk powder valued at RM42,000.

These products strongly resemble the real ones and are sold at almost the same prices as the original products. However, sharp-eyed manufacturers may still be able to tell the differences from the packaging and product codes.

Such differences are nevertheless rarely discernible to unsuspecting consumers and even enforcers from the domestic trade ministry, making it possible for the bogus products to flow into the market and be bought by innocent consumers.

Infants fed with fake milk powder may present signs and symptoms such as vomiting, although there are no serious health concerns after appropriate treatment has been administered.

Consumers have increasingly high demands for milk powder ingredients for infants who are experiencing very rapid growth and developmental stages. Proteins are essential nutrients required by growing infants and chronic deficiency could give rise to developmental anomaly and could even affect the cardiopulmonary functions and intelligence of infants.

Fake milk powder is made of questionable ingredients and earlier instances in China have seen infants fed with fake milk powder suffering from severe kidney failure.

According to the manufacturers and the domestic trade ministry, fake milk powder only makes up a very tiny portion of products found in the market and involves only one particular type of packaging.

Nevertheless, given the fact that such products are detrimental to the infants' health and will hurt the consumers' right, it is necessary for the manufacturers and authorities to probe thoroughly to ensure that stocks in the hands of unscrupulous suppliers will not get into the market.

The fake milk powder scandal involves a well-established brand in the market. Having received complaints from consumers, the merchants took the initiative to probe the issue and have subsequently reported the case admittedly to the relevant authorities in a show of genuine corporate social responsibility.

The merchants could have bought the questionable products from the wholesalers due to the lower cost without realizing they could have purchased fake products. As such, the merchants must buy only from authorized dealers and not dubious suppliers who offer lower wholesale prices.

From what we get from the operators whose suspicious products have been forfeited by the authorities, large Chinese medical halls in other areas could have acquired substantial amounts of questionable products from the same suppliers, meaning fake milk powder could have been sold all over the country without we realizing it!

The domestic trade and health ministries must try to get hold of the clues available to zero in to the root source of fake products to prevent them from flowing into the market.

Other than fake milk powder which could have a serious bearing on the infants' health, we have also heard of contaminated milk powder such as a salmonella-contaminated French product that has to be withdrawn from the market.

The infant body is extremely frail and vulnerable and consequently infant food products must conform to the most stringent safety requirements to ensure the infants' health.

The manufacturers as well as suppliers and dealers must comply with very strict requirements in the production, transportation and storage of milk powder so as to fend off the slightest contamination.



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