After discussions on Monday and Tuesday between representatives of Nutrilatt, an importer of milk powder products, and parents of children affected through the use of its product, the Ministry of Commerce’s General Department of Consumer Protection, Competition and Fraud Prevention gave the two parties one month to settle the matter out of court.
Department director-general Phan Oun told The Post on Tuesday that families filing complaints against Nutrilatt had increased from 16 to 24.
“We are giving them time to tackle this, while the solution by a prosecutor is the next step. We gave the company one month to build a report to check and give compensation to those parents. They may solve it like that,” he said.
Parents using six batch types (487, 488, 536, 537, 538, 539) of Nutrilatt’s milk powder reported that it gave their babies anaemia and iron deficiencies.
They then filed complaints with the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Commerce’s General Department of Consumer Protection, Competition and Fraud Prevention in July and August.
After receiving the news on August 26, the General Department showed the results of the analysis of the six batches of milk powder.
Analysis performed by independent and internationally accredited laboratory Eurofins Food Testing Singapore Pte Ltd showed that the iron levels in the milk powder were lower than that stated by the company and lower than what the Codex International Standard stipulates.
Liv Samnang, who purchased the milk powder, confirmed to The Post on Tuesday that the General Department had given the company one month to fix the issue by compensating parents.
Samnang said parents are asking for reimbursement to purchase milk as well as payment to treat their children in the future.
“The illnesses caused by a lack of iron and zinc deficiencies due to this powder will affect kids when they grow up [15-18-years-old] too.
“We, therefore, ask for compensation for this treatment. We also ask for [help paying for] our children’s education as it also affects their brains,” she said.
Nutrilatt released a letter on September 16, apologising to the public, ministers, leaders of the General Department and parents of babies who were affected through consumption of its milk powder.
The company claimed to be a victim and blamed its lack of production techniques and quality control. The company said it is facing a great loss as a result.