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Beijing Brushes Aside Contaminated Baby Milk Powder Reports

Mon, 16 Aug 2010 09:55:2

AHN News Staff

Beijing, China (AHN) - Contrary to claims that contaminated milk powder was behind three infant girls developing breasts, the Chinese Health Ministry said Monday the reports were baseless and unauthenticated.

Pediatricians in the central province of Hubei had recently expressed concern over the premature development of breasts in three infant girls and suggested that milk powder manufactured by Synutra International, a company listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange in New York, was reason behind the abnormality.

The Health Ministry immediately swung into action, testing all baby-milk products manufactured by Synutra across the country to check levels of the hormone estrogen.

A Health Ministry spokesperson, Deng Haihua, said Monday the investigations had revealed normal hormone content in the milk powder. "The ministry of health experts' group believes that there is no relationship between the premature development of breasts in the three infants in Hubei and Synutra milk powder."

Meanwhile, Prof Wu Xueyan of the Peking Union Medical College Hospital suggested the premature development of breasts could be because of early onset of puberty. He said premature appearance of breasts was a known clinical condition and such aberrations could occur.

However, notwithstanding the government claims, the cases have brought the focus back on tainted milk and milk products, which had killed half-a-dozen children and sickened thousands more before the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008.

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