Mothers have been left horrified after discovering a Facebook group appearing to encourage scammers to cash in on the baby formula crisis by cutting milk powder with flour and selling them to ‘low-income single mums’.
An administrator for the ‘Baby Formula Buy, Sell, Swap and Export Australia’ page asked its 672 followers for tips on how to maximise profits when selling to local mothers, shares Daily Mail.
‘I know a few members like to open tins, divide the contents into smaller serve seal bags and on-sell them to low income single mums,’ the man wrote to the group on Monday night.
‘But a question: Do you sell it pure, or cut it to get more bags out of your tins? I’m near some housing estate flats and was thinking of giving it a go, cutting it with either plain flour or wholemeal flour. Any tips would be appreciated.’
The response was nothing but outrageous!
‘Oh my god! Cut it? It’s not coke or speed, mate,’ was one of hundreds of comments posted online.
‘This is disgusting. How can he live with himself? Making a profit off low income single mums and people on the dole when it comes to their baby’s food supply is sick enough, he wants to pump flour?
‘How can we report this page and the people on that site to the police?’
Karina Savage, a Sydney-based paediatric dietitian at Smartbite Nutrition, was shocked at the post and said the practice was not safe, ‘very unethical’ and could pose serious health risks to babies.
‘There are international standards for instant formula – and you’re effectively tampering with those standards. It would certainly be illegal,’ Ms Savage told Daily Mail Australia.
‘The baby will definitely not be receiving the right nutrients to meet their nutritional needs… Adding wheat flour to a baby that is too you young can pose health issues, as the baby’s immune system is not yet fully developed.
‘Opening tins of formula and repackaging is incredibly high risk in terms of food safety, which much more risk of bacteria and other pathogens sneaking into the powder.’
Dozens of people who saw the post online said they had reported it to the authorities – and the page was shut down on Tuesday morning.
Please be careful if you are purchasing baby formula privately.
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