Chinese Baby Formula Blamed for Premature Breast Development
Three baby girls from China’s Hubei Province have started to develop breasts—many, many years too early. They’re between just four and 15 months old. China’s Health Ministry says it’s investigating whether it’s because they’ve all been drinking a particular brand of milk formula.
Tests showed that the babies‘ hormone levels exceeded those of typical adult women, according to state-run China Daily.
The babies‘ parents have been advised by their doctors to stop using the milk formula. The formula is produced by Synutra, a NASDAQ-listed company based in eastern Shandong Province.
On Tuesday, China’s Health Ministry said it had asked Hubei food safety authorities to investigate the cases.
Since the initial three cases, there have been scattered reports of other babies around the country showing signs of sexual prematurity. Those infants have all been taking Synutra products.
The dairy manufacturer insists its infant formulas are safe, saying it does not add hormones to their products.
Despite the reassurance, the company’s shares plunged by nearly 27% on Monday. It’s Synutra’s biggest fall since 2008, when a massive tainted milk scandal embroiled the Chinese dairy industry.