The French company recalled 12 million boxes of powdered baby milk infected by salmonella since December. Those working for better safety in the baby food industry say such scandals are not new.
By Eleonora Chiarella
The French dairy giant Lactalis scandal has raised concerns over the safety of baby milk products.
“This scandal is not the first. Since 2000, 2002, our organization has been working on recalls and withdrawals by all companies all over the world and they do not receive sufficient attention. So, this Lactalis is a tip of the iceberg, we know that in 2005, the same company, the same products caused 148 babies to fall sick, of those 45 % were hospitalized”, says Alison Linnecar, Coordinator of the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN).
Activists blame powerful lobbying by companies and their huge marketing budgets for the lack of safety in the baby milk market.
Linnecar told Euronews: “Every time there is a minor outcry and then the all story goes away again because the lobby of the baby milk industry and the food companies is so powerful. It’s powerful in the European Union, it’s powerful in national politics. And it is this commercial influence that is of such concern to us because the companies have huge marketing budgets, they’re able to promote their products all over the world but they never ever warn about the risks of using these products”.
The International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) is calling for all baby milk companies to provide clearer information on how to prepare and store their products in order to avoid contamination by harmful bacteria such as salmonella.