Authorities deny delay in probing fake baby formula

Teo had demanded KPDNKK explain why they were only checking the market for counterfeit infant formula now, after claimed that they had been informed of the matter in August. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Teo had demanded KPDNKK explain why they were only checking the market for counterfeit infant formula now, after claimed that they had been informed of the matter in August. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 16 — A DAP lawmaker wrongly claimed that authorities were informed about counterfeit infant formula in August but only acted this month, said a government official.

The Domestic Trade, Cooperative and Consumerism Ministry (KPDNKK) rejected Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching's allegation, and stressed that they were only informed about the sale of the counterfeit products at several outlets in Johor Baru on December 6.

According to the ministry's director of enforcement, Datuk Mohd Roslan Mahayudin, raids were conducted against five premises in Johor Baru the very next day and necessary action taken.

“I do not know where some parties got the idea that a complaint had been lodged to KPDNKK in August,” he told Malay Mail when contacted.

“She (Teo) simply makes claims; we don't know who the complaint was lodged with. Perhaps they complained to the manufacturer of the product or other parties,” Mohd Roslan added.

Teo had demanded KPDNKK explain why they were only checking the market for counterfeit infant formula now, after claimed that they had been informed of the matter in August.

She pointed out reports of a toddler who vomited after consuming infant powder over three months ago, when the parents also lodged a report with the manufacturer.

Teo further claimed that the KPDNKK and Health Ministry’s (MoH) delayed response has jeopardised the health and wellbeing of “hundreds if not thousands” of infants.

“While it is understandable that it takes times to run the test, but why KPDNKK waited till 7 of December to conduct the raids? Why didn’t KPDNKK conduct the test when it received the complaint in August?” she said in a statement on Thursday.

Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin previously said his ministry will publicly identify those who produce imitation baby formula, and that his ministry is working closely with genuine baby formula manufacturers and the Health Ministry to stop production of the fake goods.

Hamzah said samples of the baby formula were sent to the Health Ministry and Chemistry Department for testing.

The issue came to light last week when ministry officials seized 210 boxes of fake baby milk formula, worth about RM42,000, from five supermarkets and pharmacies in Johor.