International Federation of
Journalists (IFJ) is concerned about a new ban by China’s authorities on the
reporting of a milk powder product suspected of bringing on the development of
puberty in babies.
IFJ has learned that the order, issued by Central Propaganda Department on
August 13, required that the media stop reporting that Synutra formula was the
suspected cause of infant girls appearing to experience early sexual
order followed a series of media reports in early August about three baby girls
in Wuhan, Hubei
Province, central China,
who were found to have an appearance of early sexual development after they had
consumed the milk powder for a period of time.
China’s Ministry of Health responded
on August 12 by announcing a panel of nine experts to investigate.
days later, on August 15, the ministry announced the investigation had
concluded that there was no evidence to prove a link between the milk powder and
signs of puberty in babies. It did not advise what the cause might have been.
safety is an issue of great public concern, particularly in China in recent times,” IFJ General
Secretary Aidan White said.
IFJ calls on China’s
authorities to lift the recent ban. Free reporting on all developments in food
safety cases allows the truth to be uncovered and can also reduce public
2008, several restrictive orders were issued to the media following news
reporting that at least six babies had died and 300,000 children had suffered kidney
problems after consuming contaminated milk powder.
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific
on +612 9333 0919
represents more than 600,000 journalists in 125 countries
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