Last Thursday, Hong Kong officials said they would test babies who consumed Japanese milk formula. The Wakomodo and Morinada brands of infant formulas were ordered off the market after a random test found they lacked enough iodine, which could have "adverse effects" on babies’ health.
The pulled products contained less than one third of the World Health Organization’s recommended iodine levels. According to the WHO, iodine deficiency is "one of the main causes of impaired cognitive development in children."
The producers of Wakomodo and Morinada defended themselves by saying that their infant formulas were never meant for sale in Hong Kong, which has different iodine requirements than Japan.
According to Morinada spokeswoman Natsumi Takahashi:
The Japanese government does not allow manufacturers to add iodine to powdered milk products, which may however contain some iodine from other ingredients.
Whatever the case, Hong Kong is a popular place for mainlanders to stock up on infant formula because of "relatively high health standards and strong enforcement." The Hong Kong government said it would continue to test other brands of milk formula.
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