A legislator yesterday demanded that Mead Johnson milk powder be taken off the shelves after testing confirmed a consumer’s complaint that it contained iron rust.
A mother surnamed Wu (吳) complained after she found particles in the milk powder in July. She then sent the milk powder to the Taipei City Department of Health (DOH) for testing. It confirmed the presence of iron rust in the product, lot number OM46188.
Wu then reported the result to the company, but only got a curt reply.
“That is part of the food product’s ingredients,” Wu quoted the company as saying.
Wu said she was dismayed.
In a press conference yesterday, Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chao Tien-ling (趙天麟) and DPP Taipei City Councilor Ruan Jhao-syong (阮昭雄) said iron rust had been found in Mead Johnson milk powder in South Korea in 2006, which led to a full recall.
“Now the same thing is happening here, but the government has been negligent in its duty and is trying to sweep this matter under the carpet. I demand a recall and for all 16,000 cans of this milk power with this lot number to be taken off the shelves immediately,” Chao said.
Hsieh Ting-hung (謝定宏), an official from Department of Health’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) responded by saying: “If extraneous materials are found, then it contravenes the Act Governing Food Sanitation (食品衛生管理法). If it is harmful to people, then the product must be recalled and destroyed, and the manufacturer fined up to NT$6 million [US$206,000].”
However, Hsieh refused to promise the DOH would order the product off the shelves.
In a statement yesterday, Mead Johnson said it made a thorough investigation of the milk powder after receiving the complaint, and found the product to be safe and conforming to international food standards.