The Ministry of Commerce has set a two-week deadline from September 1 for Nutrilatt milk powder formula importers to address the demands of parents who used the formula.
Three international organisations have voiced support for the ministry’s action.
The ministry’s General Department of Consumer Protection, Competition and Fraud Prevention director-general Phan Oun told The Post on Tuesday that the ministry will address the sale of Nutrilatt milk powder formula products.
“The ministry is waiting to receive the documents parents are preparing,” Oun said.
On September 3, the ministry ordered Nutrilatt Master LM Co Ltd to immediately stop importing and distributing the product and recall it from the market.
On August 27, the general department released laboratory results that showed iron content in Nutrilatt milk powder formula on six batch numbers (487, 488, 536, 537, 538, 539) was lower than the company’s declaration and the Codex International Standard.
The independent analysis was carried out by Eurofins Food Testing Singapore Pte Ltd.
UNICEF, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Helen Keller International (HKI) issued a joint statement on September 7 entitled, Supporting Stronger Regulation of Infant Foods to Protect the Health and Nutrition of Children in Cambodia.
It said: “We greatly appreciate the government’s swift action to suspend the sale of Breast Milk Substitutes [BMS] from companies failing to meet international standards,” the three organisations wrote in their statement.
The statement said the government’s move will help protect the health and well-being of children.
“We request that the affected children and their families receive appropriate care and support,” their statement said.
The organisations described the situation as a reminder of the crucial importance of robust regulation of BMS products. If an infant doesn’t receive a sufficient level of nutrition, he can have impaired physical and cognitive growth.
Liv Samnang, one of the parents who used the milk powder formula for her baby, said the 16 families are currently preparing documents and demanding compensation. She said the documents will be finished by September 15 for submission to the ministry.
“We are asking the Maternal and Child Health Centre at the Ministry of Health to explain the effects on infants after using this formula because it causes long-term and short-term iron deficiency and anaemia and adverse health effects, growth and development of infants and children,” Samnang said.
She said if the company does not agree to the claim, the parents will file a class action suit in court.
Council for Agricultural and Rural Development (Card) Chairman Yim Chhay Ly sent a letter to Minister Pan Sorasak on August 31. He expressed his support for the ministry’s strict action to ensure food safety in the Kingdom.
Chhay Ly also requested the Ministry of Commerce to continue monitoring and analysing iron and zinc levels in other dairy products sold on the market.