Australian stores limit baby formula as China demand hits stocks

May 16, 2018
Coles says some stores have moved the milk supplement from isles to behind counters
Coles says some stores have moved the milk supplement from isles to behind counters

One of Australia's biggest supermarket chains said Wednesday some stores were moving baby formula behind counters and restricting sales as it emerged customers were clearing shelves and selling it online in China for more than double the price.

Coles' decision to take the milk product off aisles follows complaints from worried mothers over supplies and after Sydney's Daily Telegraph reported one kilogram tins bought for up to Aus$35 (US$26) were being resold to Chinese parents for around Aus$100.

"Coles is committed to ensuring that our customers with a genuine need for have access to this product," Coles said in a statement.

"To make sure we have formula available for customers, in some stores we are keeping infant formula behind the service desk or using specially designed electronic article surveillance lids that can only be removed at the register."

The supermarket giant is restricting sales to two tins per customer and working with suppliers to improve availability.

Woolworths said it had no plans to remove the product from shelves but has also tightened restrictions to two units per .

In 2015 an Australian company apologised to mothers after its premium organic baby milk formula was wiped off ahead of China's Singles Day.

Demand for foreign infant milk products has soared following a series of food scares in China, including a 2008 scandal over locally produced tainted that left six children dead and made more than 300,000 ill.

Simon Hansford, owner of producer Milk Powder Solutions said the strong Chinese demand reflected the quality of Australian produce, but also welcomed restrictions to protect local supply.

"The Chinese consumer, they are doing nothing illegal, they are actually supporting our dairy industry," he told commercial radio station 2GB.

"The Chinese consumer is very comfortable about buying Australian produce if it is coming from (Australian) supermarkets, they tend to look at the produce as a famous brand."

Explore further: Cancer-causing toxin found in Chinese baby formula

Related Stories

Cancer-causing toxin found in Chinese baby formula

July 23, 2012
A Chinese dairy has been ordered to suspend production after a cancer-causing toxin was found in its infant formula, China's quality watchdog said Monday, in the country's latest milk scare.

New Zealand botulism scare triggers global recall (Update)

August 3, 2013
New Zealand authorities have triggered a global recall of up to 1,000 tons of dairy products across seven countries after dairy giant Fonterra announced tests had turned up a type of bacteria that could cause botulism.

Recommended for you

Experts caution study on plastics in humans is premature

October 23, 2018
Scientists in Austria say they've detected tiny bits of plastic in people's stool for the first time, but experts caution the study is too small and premature to draw any credible conclusion.

Can organic food help you reduce your risk of cancer? A new study suggests the answer may be yes

October 22, 2018
To reduce your risk of cancer, you know you should quit smoking, exercise regularly, wear sunscreen, and take advantage of screening tests. New research suggests another item might be added to this list: Choose organic foods ...

A topical gel that can prevent nerve damage due to spraying crops with pesticides

October 22, 2018
A team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in India has developed a topical get that can be used by farmers to prevent nerve damage due to chemical crop spraying. In their paper published in the journal Science ...

Moderate exercise before conception resulted in lower body weight, increased insulin sensitivity of offspring

October 22, 2018
Men who want to have children in the near future should consider hitting the gym.

Modern conflict: Screen time vs. nature

October 22, 2018
Even rural kids today spend more time in front of screens and less time outdoors, according to a new study of middle-school students in South Carolina.

Community health workers can reduce hospitalizations by 65 percent and double patient satisfaction with primary care

October 22, 2018
Community health workers—trusted laypeople from local communities who help high-risk patients to address social issues like food and housing insecurity—can help reduce hospital stays by 65 percent and double the rate ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.