Several toddlers in China have developed malformed heads after they were raised on a protein drink sold to their parents as baby food, a report claims.
Photos of devastated parents show that their children’s forehead shows unusual swelling after reportedly feeding the product for months.
The shocking revelation comes more than 10 years after toxic, chemical-laden milk powder produced by the country’s largest dairy companies killed six infants and made nearly 300,000 babies sick.
A mother, Ms. Chen, said that her daughter’s forehead “sticks out”. The parent from Yongxing County, Hunan Province showed a picture of her child to Hunan Economy TV
A father, Mr. Hu, said that the skull of his three-year-old child “clearly protrudes” as a result. He said the child had grown slowly and only had the physical characteristics of a two-year-old
The latest health scandal occurred in the city of Chenzhou in Hunan Province of southern China, according to Hunan Economy TV, which conducted the study.
Obviously, these children are allergic to milk, and their parents were advised by shop assistants to use the product in question to replace the regular formula.
The sick toddlers, all from Yongxing County, were diagnosed with rickets, the report claimed.
The condition affects bone development in children and causes pain, poor growth, and soft, weak bones that can lead to malformations.
It can be caused by a lack of vitamin D, including sunlight and foods such as oily fish and egg yolks.
Other boys and girls showed symptoms such as rash and intellectual disability after being severely malnourished by the drink.
The drink is called Bei An Min, according to local officials who were investigating the matter
A father, known by his surname Hu, said that the skull of his three-year-old child ‘clearly protrudes’ after he started drinking the product. He said the child had grown slowly and only had the physical characteristics of a two-year-old.
Another mother, known by her last name, Chen, told the reporter that her daughter’s forehead “bulges out.”
“Others all say that your child looks like a ‘big baby’ and asks if she is deformed,” she said, showing a photo of the girl on her phone.
Ms. Chen said her monthly salary was around 2,000 yuan (£ 230), but she had to spend 3,000 yuan (£ 344) on the product for her daughter every month.
A third parent said that his daughter had hit herself on the head several times a day after being left mentally disabled due to the regular consumption of the ‘formula’.
A mother, Ms. Zhu, told the reporter that she was devastated after discovering that her daughter had grown up with a drink, not a formula. She said his child had been drinking the product for more than two years
The dodgy drink is called Bei An Min and is produced by a local company in Hunan, according to local officials investigating the matter.
Although the manufacturer labels it as a ‘solid protein drink’ on the cans, the product has been sold in the baby food section of a popular maternity store.
“When I heard the news [that it was just a drink], I was broken. We had always believed it to be formula. The sales people had told us it was formula too, “a mother called by her last name Zhu shouted.
“It wasn’t until later that we discovered it was some kind of drink. It means that my daughter has had a drink for over two years. ‘
Chinese parents have feared a number of milk scandals in the past. In the most notorious case, a chemical called melamine was added to the baby food
When reporters visited the store that sold the product, a manager insisted that Bei An Min was some kind of “special formula.”
However, after the reporter told the manager about the situation of her customers’ children, the woman, who had sold the product for two years, quickly changed her tone. She said the product “cannot be drunk for a long time because it contains no nutrients.”
China has a national food safety standard, which lists the requirements of ingredients and nutritional values of baby food.
However, it has no regulations for normal drinks sold to babies and young children.
Officials said 20 percent of Chinese dairies, including milk powder giant Sanlu at the time, were involved in the milk scandal that killed six children and made 300,000 sick in 2008
A Bei An Min customer service representative told Beijing News that their product was a regular drink for “regular customers” and produced in accordance with government regulations
The representative claimed that the company was unaware that the drink had been sold to babies who were allergic to milk.
The representative added that Bei An Min production was suspended in mid-2019 and that the company was investigating the parents’ claims.
The Chinese market watchdog has been notified of the report.
The State Administration of Market Regulation said in a statement pronunciation today that it was ‘paying close attention’ and instructed the Hunan provincial site to ‘thoroughly inspect’ the relevant companies.
The authority has imposed a severe sentence and promises to release the results of the investigation ‘in a timely manner’.
Chinese customers have feared a number of milk scandals in the past.
The most notorious case occurred in 2008, affecting 20 percent of Chinese dairy companies, including the milk powder giant Sanlu.
The incident saw companies adding a chemical compound called melamine, which is used in plastic and fertilizer production, to baby food.
Two men were sentenced to death for their role in the contaminated milk scandal killed six children and made 294,000 sick.
66-year-old Tian Wenhua, Sanlu’s boss, was spared the death penalty, but was sentenced to life and fined over £ 2 million.
In 2003, more than 100 babies in eastern China’s Anhui Province developed the so-called “big-headed disease,” with huge heads, after drinking milk made from starch and cane sugar by dishonest companies. Twelve babies died from severe malnutrition as a result reports at the time.