Published: Friday August 10, 2012 MYT 9:09:00 PM
Updated: Friday August 10, 2012 MYT 9:11:10 PM
Ministry monitoring two Japanese brands of infant formula
PUTRAJAYA: The Health Ministry has assured parents that it will maintain strict monitoring on two Japanese brands of infant formula milk that are allegedly dangerous for babies, even if one of the two brands is not being imported into the country.
Senior director of food safety and quality Noraini Mohd Othman said the ministry had imposed Level Five Inspection on the Wakodo and Morinaga brands from Japan to analyse the iodine levels of the imported powdered milk.
She said the ministry was also monitoring the situation, including taking samples of infant formula in the local market.
Malaysia does not import the Wakodo brand while the Morinaga brand is imported either from the Netherlands or New Zealand and not directly from Japan.
"Consumers need not worry because the Health Ministry is constantly carrying out enforcement and monitoring activities on issues related to food safety, to make sure public health is maintained," Noraini said in a statement Friday.
On Thursday, Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai announced a ban on the two brands of infant formula, following a report by the Centre for Food Safety (CFS) Hong Kong which found that the Wakodo and Morinaga brands imported directly from Japan had iodine levels lower than the Codex Alimentarius international standard.
Based on the codex, the iodine content should be between a minimum of 10 microgrammes for every 100 kilocalories and a maximum of 60 microgrammes per 100 kilocalories.
It is believed that insufficient levels of iodine in infant formula could stunt the growth of infants.
Noraini noted that should consumers have any doubts on the safety of infant formula that is available on the local market, they can lodge a report with the ministry either through the district or state health departments or the ministry's food safety and quality division's website at .