Synutra Won’t Recall Milk Products As Government Probes Death

Synutra International Inc., (SYUT) a Chinese baby formula maker, said its products are safe and it won’t recall any after local news reports that one of the twin infants using the company’s powdered milk died and another became ill.

“We firmly believe this is an isolated incident unrelated to Synutra’s products,” Synutra Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Liang Zhang said in a statement yesterday. “We have chosen to not recall any of our products because we are confident that they are safe.”

The products where the ill infants’ formula originated have been removed, according to the company statement. All of the company’s products including those in question are tested and analyzed before shipment, the company said.

The claims against Synutra come after regulators found a batch of tainted milk in the warehouse of China Mengniu Dairy Co. last month. Infant formula contaminated with melamine, an industrial chemical, killed at least six children in 2008.

“We hope to reassure consumers that we are fully confident that our products are safe,” Zhang said in the statement. The head of consumer protection department of the Industrial and Commerce Bureau in Duchang, who only gave his surname as Cao, said the bureau is waiting for tests results of the products in question.

Twin Babies

The company said it issued the statement in response to local Chinese media reports that a pair of four month twins in the southeastern Chinese province of Jiangxi became ill with severe intestinal symptoms.

“Both children were reported to have been consuming Synutra powdered milk formula products for weeks before the sudden onset of their illness,” Synutra said. One twin died from dehydration on Jan. 7 and the other has recovered after hospitalization, the statement said.

Commerce authorities in east China on Thursday said they were investigating the dairy company, Xinhua reported yesterday. Authorities have sealed the same batch of Synutra products in the county of Duchang, where the case was reported, and sent samples for testing, Xinhua reported citing officials with the county’s bureau of industry and commerce.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael Wei in Shanghai at mwei13@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephanie Wong at swong139@bloomberg.net

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