By Erik Crouch
Image credit: Nerissa’s Ring
Hong Kong and Australia have already experienced the suckling effect of millions of Chinese mothers purchasing up baby milk in bulk; something about “unusual amounts of mercury” makes the Chinese supplies a little less than desirable. Now one of the most depressing consumer trends ever has expanded to the United Kingdom, where major retailers have been asked to ration sales of infant milk after customers were caught buying in bulk for “unofficial export” to China. Those needy Chinese parents! It’s almost like they’re desperately trying to give their children vital nutrition instead of toxic chemicals.
The Guardian reports:
In some cases the milk is being sent abroad to relatives, but it is also being sold on the internet.
Foreign-produced baby formula is popular in China, where locally-produced and often contaminated products have resulted in deaths and widespread illness. The first episode of milk contamination in China occurred in 2008, when three of the top dairy firms in the country were proven to have been affected by the presence of melamine, an industrial chemical normally used in plastics. Six infants died and a further 300,000 fell ill. […]
Danone [the United Kingdom’s leading baby milk producer] insisted that the rationing was highly unlikely to lead to shortages of its products, and apologised to parents for any inconvenience it had caused. It said in a statement: “We understand that the increased demand is being fuelled by unofficial exports to China to satisfy the needs of parents who want western brands for their babies. We would like to apologise to parents for any inconvenience caused by this limit. We know that most parents only buy one pack at a time, so we hope that the impact of this limit on UK parents will be minimal.”
Danone’s apology for “any inconvenience” may ring a bit false to Chinese parents who are trying to avoid poisoning their children. Sales of milk formula powder will be limited to two daily per customer.