Exposed in the CCTV “Weekly Quality Report”
CCTV “Weekly Quality Report” reported on March 28 that the claimed Hero nutradefense (美素丽儿) baby formula was not produced in the Netherlands but illegally produced, mixed with expired milk powder and repackaged by the Chinese distributor, Import and Export (Suzhou) Co., Ltd which was the genuine agents for the sale of the imported Hero nutradefense. In addition, it was also suspected that the production date and shelf life had been aritifitially modified.
Hero Nutradefense statement
On 28 March 2013, Hero Nutradefense in its official websites published a statement claiming that the “Hero Infant Milks in China are Safe”:
Lenzburg, 28 march 2013 – Hero regrets that a recently broadcasted news item on Chinese Television about our Infant milk brand Hero Nutradefense has created concern around the quality of our product sold in China.
As a Swiss company that has produced high-quality, nutritious food products for over a century, Hero Group has always maintained the highest standards of quality and safety.
Hero launched its infant formula Nutradefense in China in 2012. All Hero Nutradefense sold in China is produced exclusively in the Netherlands.
A recent investigation by the Suzhou Institute of Supervision & Inspection on Product Quality alleged that one of Hero’s subdistributors in China has been involved in the illegal repackaging of Nutradefense. This has been investigated by the Suzhou authorities and dealt with appropriately.
Hero Group has not detected any problems concerning the quality and safety of its products on the Chinese market. The company will continue to closely monitor its sub-distributors to ensure the integrity of Hero products sold in China.
On the next day of the media exposure, Shanghai authorities issued order that 1.3 tonnes of the infant formula be taken off from shelves, at the same time online retail giants such as 360buy.com and Tmall.com also removed the relevant products according to the Xinhua report.
Provincial Quality Supervision Bureau: The problematic milk had been found last year
After the media exposure, Yangzi Evening News reporter had contacted the Jiangsu Province Bureau of Quality Supervision Inspection department staff who responded that as early as in last year the problematic Hero nutradefense products had been sealed and product line closed.
According to the Suzhou Bureau of Quality Supervision, the Xi Yue Li Er Imports and Exports (Suzhou) Co., Ltd. is only a distributor which does not have the production authorization, which means that, the agent can only sell the original baby formula, and cannot take any dispensing measures.
Expert advice: Go to hospital for health examination
According to CCTV report, during the production problematic baby formula products, expired milk had been added. In this regard, dairy expert Wang Ding recommended that:
“Customers can send the remaining milk powder products for inspection since expired milk which may be bad, moldy, containing E. coli and other disease-causing toxins and even carcinogens and would cause harm to the children. The problematic milk powder itself did not contain enough nutrient, and thus may affect the child’s growth. The younger the child, the greater the impact will be.”
“Parents should pay close attention to the child’s health status and can also send their children to the hospital for a comprehensive examination and the doctors will provide guidance.”