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Philippines orders baby formula recall
Question of the Day
MANILA (AP) — The Philippine government has ordered the recall of millions of cans of infant milk products made by U.S.-based company Wyeth because they may have been contaminated at a warehouse during a storm, officials said yesterday.
Health Undersecretary Alexander Padilla said the Bureau of Food and Drugs served the recall order to Wyeth on Tuesday after verifying confidential information that the infant formula, manufactured in the Philippines last year, was exposed to the elements during a powerful typhoon that hit the country but the formula was not immediately recalled by the company.
The recall order came the same day that the Supreme Court heard arguments on whether to allow health officials to impose stringent measures against what they say are aggressive advertising by foreign milk companies that has led many women to think infant formula is better than mother’s milk.
Joshua Ramos, deputy director of the Bureau of Food and Drugs, said up to 4.3 million units of the infant formulas Bona, Promil, Promil Kid and Progress Gold may have been contaminated last year in warehouses after exposure to the elements. A unit is defined as being a can or a carton.
The milk in question was manufactured between May and July 2006, “but we are referring only to specific lots, not everything should be recalled,” Mr. Ramos said.
He said Wyeth has selectively withdrawn contaminated milk units and destroyed them but has yet to reply to the department’s questions on their count of affected units and whether they have ensured that milk remaining in the market is safe.
“They should have admitted to it, and they should have recalled all their products publicly and made a report,” he added.
By Robert N. Tracci
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