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Government investigates sugar in Nestle baby food

Vaseline 2 months ago

Bangladesh’s food regulator has launched an investigation into Nestlé for traces of sugar and honey in baby milk and cereal products sold in low- and middle-income countries, including Bangladesh, in violation of international guidelines.

The Bangladesh Food Safety Authority has launched an investigation into the effect of added sugar in baby milk products from the world’s largest packaged food company.

BFSA chairman Zakaria told New Age on Sunday: “We have initiated our investigation under the leadership of a member of the BFSA to closely examine the effect of added sugars in Nestlé’s baby food products.”

He said: ‘We will take action against Nestlé if we discover through scientific research that the sugar is harming children.’

Zakaria also promised strict action against the brand if any flaws are found in its products.

Meanwhile, Debabrata Roy Chowdhury, Corporate Secretary of Nestlé Bangladesh PLC said, “We ensure that our Bangladeshi manufactured products fully and strictly comply with local standards (BSTI and others) and international CODEX standards (a committee established by WHO and FAO), regarding the requirements of all nutrients, including added sugars.’

He said: ‘We want to ensure that our infant cereal products are manufactured to meet the appropriate nutritional needs for early childhood.’

‘We will never compromise on the nutritional quality of our products. We continually leverage our extensive global research and development network to improve the nutritional profile of our products,” he added.

Nestlé, a Swiss multinational food and beverage processing company, is facing criticism after Public Eye, a Swiss NGO, released a report on Wednesday alleging that Nestlé uses harmful added sugars in baby food.

According to the report, traces of sugar and honey have been found in baby milk and cereal products sold by Nestlé in poorer countries, but the same was not the case in Europe, where there were no added sugars.

In Bangladesh, the added sugar per serving (in grams) of Cerelac was found to be 3.3 grams. The added sugar content is stated on the packaging, but the associated risks are glossed over, according to the report.

The same applied to Nido, another popular Nestlé brand. In India and Pakistan, added sugar was 2.7 grams, although for the latter no explanation was found on the packaging tested.

The highest of 6.8 grams was found in Nigeria, followed by Senegal and Vietnam.

In Nestlé’s key European markets, including Britain, there is no added sugar in infant formulas. Although some cereals for older toddlers contain added sugar, products intended for babies between six months and one year of age do not contain sugar.

Public Eye sent samples of Nestlé’s baby food products sold in Asia, Africa and Latin America to a Belgian laboratory for testing.

The tests revealed the presence of added sugar in the form of sucrose or honey in samples of Nido, a follow-on milk formula brand intended for use in infants one year and older, and Cerelac, a breakfast cereal intended for children between six months and older. two years.

Nigel Rollins, a scientist at the World Health Organization, said in a speech to the audience that there is a double standard here that cannot be justified.

He said that Nestlé in Switzerland does not add sugar to its products, but doing so in lower-resource settings is “problematic from both a public health and ethical perspective.”