November 12th, 2015

Child genius claims in China driving baby formula demand and hurting Australia's supply

By Esther Han

Marketing claims that formula can turn a baby into a child prodigy in China are driving the huge demand that has led to Australian stock being wiped from shelves and flogged on the grey market, an infant feeding academic says. As outrage grows over the shortage, Woolworths has clamped down on bulk purchases, with head office re-issuing an eight-tin per transaction policy on Wednesday, despite being hit with multiple petitions to lower it to four.

Dr Karleen Gribble from Western Sydney University said a key reason why Chinese parents were willing to splash $100 for a tin of Bellamy’s Organic and A2 Platinum, five times the price in Australia, was because they had succumbed to unethical marketing claims. “Formula marketers have tapped into this desire to falsely claim their products enhance brain development and health. Child prodigies and sports stars abound in marketing campaigns, and hospitals are recruited to promote formula brands to new mothers in hospitals,” she said.

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