China tightens supervision on baby formula

Updated: 2016-06-10 19:45


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BEIJING - China's food safety watchdog has issued a regulation, effective as of Oct 1, to tighten supervision on baby formula.

Both domestic and overseas baby formula producers must register and secure permits from the China Food and Drug Administration if they want to sell their products in China.

If they are using foreign raw materials, they must specify the place or country and vague phrasing like "imported milk," "from foreign pastures," or "imported raw materials" are forbidden, according to the Baby Formula Registration Regulation issued Wednesday.

Moreover, it is forbidden to include claims such as "good for brain," "improve immunity" or "protect intestinal tracts" in instructions or packaging, according to the regulation.

Baby formula is a sensitive issue in China, after a series of scandals beginning in 2008 when infant formula produced by Sanlu Group, a leading domestic dairy firm, was found to contain melamine.

In April, police arrested nine people implicated in the production and sale of fake baby formula under the brands "Similac" and "Beingmate." About 1,000 cans of milk powder, over 20,000 empty cans and 65,000 fake trademarks were seized.

In 2015, China produced 700,000 tonnes of baby formula, accounting for 65 percent of the annual sales nationwide.