Fake infant formula hits stores as genuine remains out of stock


    • A brand of Lactogen baby formula  PHOTO | THE CITIZEN PHOTOJOURNALIST

      By Saumu Mwalimu,The Citizen Reporter

      IN SUMMARY

      • Another brand of Lactogen baby formula which has not been registered by the regulator is on the market

      Dar es Salaam. Unscrupulous traders have taken advantage of the shortage of baby formulas to import and sell uncertified products, The Citizen on Saturday can report.

      This plot enables them to cash in from unsuspecting and apprehensive mothers who for more than three months now have been looking for the products but in vain.

      About three weeks ago The Citizen on Saturdayexclusively reported panic among lactating mothers after importers of Lactogen conceded the shortage of the product. Mothers were also looking for other popular brands like S-26 and SMA, which have also run out of stock.

      Further investigations by this paper have established that some traders have imported in the country another brand of Lactogen baby formula which has not been registered by the Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA).

      The authority has since warned people to be wary of the new brand, which they can easily identify through its labelling.

      Unlike the registered brand whose instructions are in English and Kiswahili, the circulating product has its instructions printed in English and French.

      Speaking to this reporter recently, the spokesperson of TFDA, Ms Gaudencia Simwanza, said the matter has also been brought to their attention and urged mothers to be very careful when buying powdered milk for their babies.

      “They should look for brands whose labels have been written in Kiswahili and English, that should be the number one indication that the product has our blessings. Kiswahili is the language that most mothers in our country understand,” she cautioned.

      According to her, manufacturers have been given the condition of not using images of a healthy baby on the containers of infant formulas. The rationale, she said, is to discourage mothers from believing that the formulas are better than mother’s milk. Lactating mothers are encouraged to as much as possible breastfeed their babies. This, she said was another indicator that mothers should watch out.

      Third, the formulas should not have any pictures of toys and last the instructions should be printed in the steel cane and not the paper label.

      “Infant formula is one of the high risk products and because the person using it cannot communicate until the effects are shown up using various body signs, therefore, TFDA is keen to make sure that only safe products reach our market. Mothers should be careful when they reach the store counters, otherwise they should consult the doctors before changing to another brand to prevent their babies from any allergy development,” said Ms Simwanza.

      The spokesperson also dealt a blow to mothers who have also been looking for another popular brand, SMA, which is also out of stock in many shops. She noted that the popular powdered milk was not in the list of products registered by TFDA.

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