Premature Puberty From Synutra’s Baby Formula?

by Intern Brittany J.

I’d put this in the category of “Eat Me”…but really it seems more like “Don’t Eat Me” at this point.
According to several news sources, Chinese company Synutra is under fire after three (and a recently-reported potential fourth) female babies have been diagnosed as prematurely pubescent after being fed the company’s baby formula. As in, babies with breasts.

Synutra has claimed there to be no hormones or “illegal substances” of any sort in their product, yet the children have been tested and showed “unusually high levels of the hormones estradiol and prolactin.”  Fishy, fishy. Though assumptions are already being made about the company’s guilt in these cases, many officials are making it clear that though it is easy to jump to conclusions based on these clues, testing of product samples is certainly in order. The results should be made public as soon as possible, according to the company’s chief executive, Liang Zhang. I suppose it’d have to be soon, because the company’s stock has plummeted about 35% in the time since this story hit the news.

This event actually comes two years after the scandal in which six children died and almost 300,000 children became sick after drinking powdered milk laced with melamine. Synutra was one of the companies involved.

I wish the best of luck to these children and their parents. I can only imagine what’s happening to male babies drinking this stuff…if the tests come up positive. I hope someone looks into that aspect soon.

[image: The Guardian; info: AFP, The Telegraph, The Guardian, Bloomberg Businessweek]

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