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Organic Consumers Association

Female Infants Growing Breasts: Another Disaster From Hormones in Milk Production

People are very upset about this, and for good reason. Female infants in China who have been fed formula have been growing breasts.

According to the official Chinese Daily newspaper, medical tests performed on the babies found levels of estrogens circulating in their bloodstreams that are as high as those found in most adult women. These babies are between four and 15 months old. And the evidence is overwhelming that the milk formula they have been fed is responsible.

Synutra, the company that makes the baby formula consumed by these babies, says it's not their fault. They insist that "no man-made hormones or any illegal substances were added during the production of the milk powder."

Then what is the source of the hormones? A Chinese dairy association says the hormones could have entered the food chain when farmers reared the cows. "Since a regulation forbidding the use of hormones to cultivate livestock has yet to be drawn up in China," says Wang Dingmian, the former chairman of the dairy association in the southern province of Guangdo, "it would be lying to say nobody uses it." Bovine growth hormones are used in China, as they are in the U.S., to promote greater milk production.

An extraordinary number of food products sold in the U.S. today come from China. Could some of this tainted formula be making its way to the U.S.?

There is currently no way for consumers to know whether infant formula they might purchase has been made with milk products from China.

If this problem appears in the U.S., who will be held responsible? The retailers? The importers? The Chinese producers? Will anyone be called to account?


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