The Ministry of Health yesterday moved to promote breastfeeding after an apology was released from the company involved in the milk formula scandal.
On September 9, Nutrilatt Master LM Co Ltd released an apology to the parents of children and infants who suffered from anemia and iron-deficiency due to defective batches of milk powder, sold by the company.
The company initially denied the findings of a report in August which showed that six batches of the product were dangerously deficient in iron and zinc after a group of mothers complained that it was damaging the health of their children.
In light of the scandal, The Ministry of Health issued a statement today to promote breastfeeding in the Kingdom.
The statement said that scientific evidence has proven that breast milk is far superior to milk powder, and is the ideal food for babies and children in all circumstances.
“No product, including formula milk, is better than breast milk. Breast milk contains all the nutrients a baby needs without adding food, water, or drink during the first six months of life,” it said.
The main nutrients in breast milk include protein, which is an important building block for the development of the child’s body and helps the child’s body to store energy and fluids and cover the very basic needs, it said.
In addition, breast milk is rich in nutrients, such as vitamins A, B, C, D, iron, potassium and calcium, which are essential to protect children from diseases, it said.
Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng said that in order to give breast milk qualities proper recognition, the ministry has developed a policy to promote exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a newborn’s life and continue breastfeeding for up to two years, in addition to other supplements.
“The Ministry calls on all stakeholders to promote breastfeeding at both the national sub-national,” he said.
Cambodian mother Sam Chantha said that after hearing about the scandal, she has been concerned about using milk powder.
“Mothers have been very worried about using milk formula after the batches were found to lack iron and vitamins. Therefore, I have opted to breastfeed as I know it is the best choice for my child, despite my busy schedule,” she said.
The Directorate-General of Consumer Protection, Competition and Fraud Repression (CCF) has also ordered the return of all Nutrilatt products with the codes B/N 487. 488, 536, 537, 538 and 539 to their department, as part of the joint operation conducted with the Ministry of Commerce to remove the products from the market.