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CFS announces latest round of test results on iodine content of infant formulae

     The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (August 30) announced the results of tests on the iodine content of 13 infant formulae. Test results showed that the iodine content of Smileygrowth Infant Formula Whey Dominant 1 manufactured in New Zealand was in compliance with the standard of the country of origin but below the requirement of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex) (see attached table).

     Following risk assessment, the CFS considered that if infants were fed according to the instructions printed on the label of the infant formula concerned, their iodine intake would not be less than one-third of the World Health Organisation's recommended value of 15 microgrammes per kilogramme of body weight, and therefore would not pose health concern to the infants.

     A CFS spokesman said, "Other than the formula mentioned above, the iodine content of the remaining 12 infant formulae analysed this time met the Codex requirement (i.e. 10-60 microgramme /100 kcal)."

     To sum up, the CFS has so far announced the test results of 59 infant formulae. Only six infant formulae manufactured in Japan were found to have rather low iodine content, which may affect the functioning of the thyroid gland of infants solely fed on these six infant formulae. If normal thyroid function is significantly affected, there may be potential impact on the brain development of infants.

     The spokesman said that among those formulae intended for infants below six months old known to be available for sale locally, tests on iodine content for three more are yet to be completed, mainly because of difficulties in obtaining samples for testing and the absence of energy content on the packaging. Results will be announced as soon as possible when tests are completed. Appropriate follow-up actions will be taken promptly if the findings on the samples indicate potential health impacts on infants.

     "Meanwhile, the CFS will continue its tests on the nutritional composition set by Codex in infant and follow-up formulae available in the local market. We expect to complete the tests on all formulae catering for infants below six months old by the end of this year and finish testing of those intended for young children between six and 36 months old within the first half of next year," he added.

     For enquiries about iodine in infant formulae, people may call the CFS' enquiry hotline at 3978 0600. They may also visit a dedicated website set up by the CFS ( for information on frequently asked questions regarding iodine in infant formulae and test results on iodine content of infant formulae.

Ends/Thursday, August 30, 2012
Issued at HKT 21:05


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