MELAKA: Parents whose children have consumed potentially fake formula milk in have come forward with their accounts.
One father claimed that his 10-month-old daughter developed a fever and red rashes after drinking what he suspected was counterfeit formula milk, reported the New Straits Times on Wednesday (Dec 13).
"There were red spots everywhere on her body, on her face, hands and even her back," said the 33-year-old graphic designer who wanted to be known as Koh.
According to Koh, he and his wife became worried after reading about fake infant formula on the news.
More than 200 boxes of counterfeit Enfalac A+ Step 1 were confiscated by Malaysian authorities on Sunday.
Manufacturer Mead Johnson later issued a statement informing consumers how to tell packets of fake infant formula from the real ones.
"Knowing that we have been using this brand all this while, we started to question whether we have been feeding our baby with a counterfeit version," Koh said. He then realised that the description of the counterfeit milk powder's packaging matched what they had been feeding their daughter.
Another parent, Seila Nawi, wrote on Facebook that her child was admitted to the hospital for two weeks in October after her child "turned red and was feverish".
"Mikael had diarrhoea 11 times in a day.
"He also vomited up to nine times. I couldn't just ignore that, could I?" said Nawi in a Facebook post.
According to Nawi, while her child was hospitalised, there was blood in his stool.
Koh also added that his daughter was admitted in a hospital for a few days in September after his daughter developed a high fever.
Prior to the incident, Koh fed his daughter baby milk formula bought from "reputable outlets in Singapore", said the New Straits Times.
"Only from the fourth month onwards, I started buying my own formula milk from the same Chinese medicine shop since the price was slightly lower than that of the supermarkets," he said.
Koh believes that his daughter may have developed health issues due to her prolonged consumption of the fake formula.
However, he maintained that he was not blaming any specific company and hoped that parents will be cautious when buying formula milk.
"I am here not to point fingers at the company or the retailer. It is a reputable company and proven to be a good brand for babies," Koh said, adding that he may lodge a report with the authorities.
Meanwhile, the Malaysian Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism will order the alleged fake formula milk to be pulled from the shelves.
Minister Hamzah Zainuddin said that the ministry was waiting for the test results done on the seized infant formula to come back before deciding on the next course of action.
“I hope the report will be out soon. We have to wait and only after it is confirmed can we take the necessary action.
“We will also discuss the matter with the health ministry, which is responsible for approving the product to be sold, “ he told a press conference on Wednesday.
Hamzah was also asked about the delay in conducting the raid as the complaints about the fake infant formula had been received by the ministry since Oct 14.
Hamzah responded that investigations had to be carried out by the ministry and Mead Johnson Malaysia before the raid could be conducted.
He advised parents to exercise caution when buying formula for their children and to buy the product at established outlets.
In Singapore, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority said on Monday that all formula milk samples have met the required food safety standards and that it will continue to monitor the import of the products to Singapore.