IFJ Concerned At China Ban On Reporting Food Safety Issues


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.


For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +612 9333 0919



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