"Maximum 3 containers per customer."
See that sign hanging from the baby formula shelf? It's in a drugstore in Germany and it says:
Dear Customer,What's going on? Is Germany trying to dictate breastfeeding by rationing formula? Is La Leche League turning into a fascist market regulator? No, the reason is much much bigger:
Due to large demand, we can only sell all brands of formula in regular household amounts (max. 3 containers). Thank you for your cooperation!
It turns out that the estimated 80,000 Chinese living in Germany have succeeded in sending so much baby formula to relatives in China that German formula producers can't keep up, drugstores have been left with empty shelves and mothers have had to run from store to store to stock up. It's especially bad in the weeks leading up to February, as the Chinese send the milk powder to China as a popular gift for Chinese New Year.
FOCUS Magazine reports that since the Chinese baby formula scandal in 2008 that killed six babies and sent 300,000 to the hospital with kidney stones, the Chinese have been requesting formula from friends and relatives in every developed country, but especially from Germany, so well known for its Qualität.
German baby formula producers are working hard to keep up with demand. Danone, producer of Milupa and Aptamil brands, is building a new factory in the German city of Fulda to meet demands while competitor Hipp has doubled its production in recent years since the Asia scandal. Ramping up production of baby formula doesn't happen quickly, though. German formula standards are high and the ingredients are required to be pesticide-free. However, Danone spokesperson Stefan Stohl says mothers in Germany need not worry. Supplies are now covered and all babies in Germany will be fed.
|photo: wikimedia commons.|