by Diana D. Palangchao
The Department of Health Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an advisory warning the public to be vigilant against an infant formula found to contain some levels of mercury.
China’s major dairy firm recalled batches of Yili baby formula (Quan you baby infant formula) which authorities found to have an “unusual” level of mercury content.
The recall only applies to batches of the Yili baby formula manufactured from Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group, China’s product quality watchdog, General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine said.
Although the FDA assured that the Philippines is not importing any milk products from China, Dr. Erwin Baclig, chief of the Licensing Regulations Support Division of the DOH-CAR, said health authorities are still monitoring its presence in the markets.
FDA is also coordinating with the Bureau of Customs to ensure that the product does not enter or smuggled into the country.
The Philippines banned imported milk products from China since 2008 when melamine contamination was reported in some of its milk products.
Mercury ingestion may lead to impairment of neurological development in infants and children, and may damage the kidneys and liver including the nervous system.
Assistant Sec. and FDA Officer-in-Charge Nicolas Lutero III urged the assistance of local governments to report individuals, outlets, or establishments selling the mercury tainted infant formula.
Baclig also reminded the public to refrain from buying and consuming repacked milk products as these may not be registered with the FDA or the packaging may have been contaminated in the process.
The public is also advised to be vigilant and report to the FDA if they see or find the infant formula in the possession of any individual.