In mainland China, it appears that the Melamine incident of 2008, which affected around 330,000 babies, still has many parents and caregivers wary of their own countries formula milk. In fact, foreign formula is in such high demand, that more people have been arrested smuggling formula milk than heroin or cocaine.
Last year, Hong Kong officials have arrested a total of 420 drug traffickers. The number of people who were arrested for having heroin and cocaine has been outnumbered by the number of baby formula smugglers that were arrested during the first quarter of 2013.
“Of course I give my baby foreign brand milk. Just name one Chinese brand that we can really trust,” said Tong Xinling, a 32-year-old bank employee from Shanghai.
“It’s not just me – everyone I know is buying foreign formula,” added Ms Tong, the mother of a 10-month-old son.
Since March of this year, nearly 900 people were caught bringing in 8,841kg of baby formula into mainland China by the Hong Kong customs officials. This has violated Hong Kong’s “two-pound cans per person” rule.
Foreign countries are also alarmed of the incident. Locals of foreign countries are afraid that they would have shortage of products and that there would be price hikes.