For years, Australian parents have been left empty handed as opportunistic sellers have swept baby formula shelves completely clean. Traipsing from store to store (to store to store!) only to return home with nothing to show for it. Supermarkets and chemists have been flooded by individuals looking to sell the baby formula at inflated prices overseas – at the expense of Australian babies! In news that will bring smiles to MANY faces, an organised Baby Formula Ring in Melbourne has been SHUT DOWN.
Baby Formula Ring Is No More
Thursday 30th November saw police descend on an organised baby formula ring operating out of Melbourne’s West and Inner City. This came as the result of months’ worth of careful investigation as the pleas of desperate parents fell on compassionate ears.
The suburbs involved were Sunshine, Sunshine West, Braybrook and Richmond. Police officers managed to recover $300,000 worth of Aptamil formula (which local parents have struggled to gain access to). A number of other products were also seized in addition to $500,00 cash.
Baby Formula Ring Targeted
The police operation was ongoing for a number of months. As at the time of reporting, four people are in custody but three have been released.
Hundreds of baby formula tins are now waiting in police possession. Hopefully these will soon be available to be back on the market for Australian parents to purchase.
Why Do Baby Formula Rings Exist?
A tin of formula purchased in Australia will sell for around $100 in China. There was a contamination issue in 2008 in China which saw six babies die and thousands more become very ill. Since then, buyers have looked to overseas markets (like Australia) that are more highly regulated.
Known as the ‘daigou trade’, this epidemic often sees students and internationals stripping Australian shelves of formula to take in order to sell. This has caused outrage in many areas and many parents have called on supermarkets to take more responsibility, such as limiting the number of tins one person may buy at any given time.
Choosing the right baby formula for your baby
There are many reasons why parents choose to use formula and they have the right to have access to clean, safe and accessible products. If you’re looking for information about what formula might be best for your child, check the answers that our BHT community gave when we asked that very question a few years ago.