Press Release

September 12, 2008


State Public Health Director Warns Members of the Asian Community to Avoid Using Chinese Manufactured Infant Formula

Food and Drug Administration is advising caregivers not to feed infant formula manufactured in China to infants  

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Dr. Damon T. Arnold, state public health director, is informing Illinois residents of a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) health advisory issued in response to reports of contaminated milk-based infant formula manufactured in China. The advisory is to assure the American public that there is no known threat of contamination in infant formula manufactured by companies that have met the requirements to sell infant formula in the United States. Although no Chinese manufacturers of infant formula have fulfilled the requirements to sell infant formula in the United States, FDA officials are investigating whether or not infant formula manufactured in China is being sold in specialty markets which serve the Asian community.

“At this time the FDA is advising caregivers not to feed infant formula manufactured in China to infants. You should make sure you are using infant formula made in the United States. If you have any questions about your baby’s health or notice a change in their health, you should contact your health care professional as soon as possible,” said Dr. Arnold

The FDA began investigating the reports of contamination immediately and received information from the companies who manufacture infant formula for the American market that they are not importing infant formula or source materials from China.

The Illinois Department of Public Health and local health departments are working with the FDA to help located and remove any Chinese infant formula found on store shelves and are warning members of the Asian community to avoid using Chinese manufactured infant formula.

According to the FDA, a number of infants in China who have consumed Chinese manufactured infant formula are suffering from kidney stones, a condition which is rare in infants. The Chinese manufactured infant formula may be contaminated with melamine. Melamine artificially increases the protein profile of milk and can causes kidney diseases such as those seen in these Chinese infants.

FDA requires that all infant formula manufacturers register with the Agency and adhere to specific labeling and nutritional requirements. All properly registered infant formula manufacturers marketing infant formula in the United States undergo an annual inspection of their production facilities.

For more information consumers can call the FDA at 888-INFO-FDA. Media inquiries can be directed to Judy Leon at 301-827-3314 or 301-696-8921.

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Illinois Department of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
Phone 217-782-4977
Fax 217-782-3987
TTY 800-547-0466
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