There have been urgent calls for food regulators in Australia and New Zealand to recall some brands of infant formula.
Environment group Friends of the Earth wants three brands of formula taken off shop shelves after tests showed they contained microscopic nano-hydroxyapatite particles, despite them being banned from use.
But Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) says there’s no new evidence to show that the formulas pose a risk to the health of babies and young children.
“FSANZ has reviewed the available information and concluded it does not contain any new evidence to suggest these products pose a risk to infant health and safety.”
“Carers of infants should not be alarmed by this report or concerned about the safety of these products,” the regulator said in a statement on Sunday.
Tests commissioned by Friends of the Earth found three of seven samples of infant formula on sale in Australia contained nano-hydroxyapatite particles, which have been found to damage cells in rat’s livers and kidneys.
The group says FSANZ should immediately recall the affected brands – Nestle NAN H.A. Gold 1, Nature’s Way Kids Smart 1 and Heinz Nurture Original 1 – and test all infant formulas on sale in Australia to check whether others contain hydroxyapatite or other banned substances.
FoE said the Nestle NAN H.A. Gold 1 and Nature’s Way Kids Smart 1 samples contained a needle-like form of hydroxyapatite, which the European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety has said is potentially toxic and should not be used in oral products such as toothpaste and mouthwash.
“Babies are particularly vulnerable to food safety risks since their immune systems are still developing,” FoE said.
“Often infant formula is the only food an infant receives. FSANZ needs to immediately recall these products.”
Friends of the Earth has called on the Assistant Minister for Health David Gillespie to intervene after our food regulator Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) revealed yesterday that it would take no action to remove infant formula products containing illegal and potentially dangerous nanoparticles from supermarket shelves.
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