Two batches of Nestle infant formula produced in the Netherlands and sold by Nestle's Shanghai dealer were found to have lower selenium content than their packages indicated, the city's food watchdog said yesterday.
The Shanghai Food and Drug Administration said it is investigating the Shanghai dealer.
The Alfare lactoprotein deep hydrolysis formula for special medical purposes was found to have a selenium content of 37.4 percent and 33.7 percent lower than marked on their label, which was 0.7 micrograms per 100 kilojoules, the China Food and Drug Administration found.
The batches of the formula, with two different production dates, were imported by Shanghai Nestle Product Service Co and sold at two maternal and infant shops in Shenyang, Liaoning Province.
Selenium is an essential trace element for humans, and it is important to enhance immunity and prevent cancer, the national administration said.
The amount of selenium for infant formulas used for special medical purposes should range between 0.48 micrograms and 1.9 micrograms per 100 kilojoules.
And the minimum amount should not be lower than 80 percent of that marked on the package, under China's standards.
The Pudong New Area Market Supervision and Management Bureau found the Shanghai Nestle Product Service Co purchased 10,290 tins and 9,888 tins of the two formulas respectively, and 10,265 tins and 9,878 tins have been sold. So far, 40 and 95 tins have been recalled, and the unsold products have been removed from shelves and sealed. The formulas come in 400-gram tins.
Nestle said in a statement yesterday it had acted immediately on the CFDA's request to withdraw the affected batches from trade.
There is no indication any other batches were affected, the statement said, adding consumption of formula from the two batches did not pose any health risk.
"The selenium range of these two batches was within the regulatory values but not appropriately aligned with the label declaration," Nestle said in its statement.