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Powdered milk warning labels must be mandatory


Powdered milk warning labels must be mandatory

Green MP Sue Kedgley is calling for mandatory warning labels on powdered milk formula in the wake of the tragedy at Waikato Hospital’s neonatal unit, where a premature baby died after being infected by bacteria believed to have come from a powdered milk formula.

“Parents must be given adequate information about the risks of powdered infant formula so they can avoid feeding it to newborn infants and opt for breastfeeding or ready made liquid formula instead,” said Ms Kedgley, the Green Party’s Safe Food spokesperson.

“At the very least there should be mandatory warnings on all powdered milk formula, warning of the risk of powdered infant formula to newborns and advising parents about the proper preparation and storage of powdered formula.

“Although there is a low risk, it is a risk all the same that no parent or their baby should be exposed to,” she said.

Ms Kedgley said the incident raised other questions about the powdered milk, such as its origins and the name of it.

“We should be told the name of the product and whether it was imported from another country so parents can gauge the relative safety of the product,” she said.

“It’s good that the authorities have precautionary taken action over this incident, and are issuing advice to all hospital neonatal units to reduce the risk of other premature babies dying from the bacteria. But further steps need to be taken to ensure another tragedy does not happen.”

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