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Imported milk powder under scrutiny in HK

(Global Times)

08:57, August 13, 2012

Four Japanese brands of baby formula milk powder, including Meiji and Morinaga, were graded as unqualified with excessively low levels of iodine in Hong Kong over the weekend, Beijing News reported Sunday.

Earlier, six imported milk powder brands in Hong Kong were also found to have insufficient levels of iodine, taking the number of unqualified brands to 10.

But Meiji said that the milk powder products sold in the Chinese mainland are produced in Australia, and most of the products might have entered into Hong Kong through non-official channels, the report said.

Morinaga said that the milk powder's iodine content meets Japan's standard, as it is not allowed to add iodine to food products in Japan.

According to the report, unqualified imported milk powder can not be allowed to enter the market, which means products that entered the market through official channels are safe to purchase. But there are safety risks in the purchase of products overseas through online channels.

Low intake of iodine may affect babies' thyroid function, which could harm the brain development, experts said.

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