Vietnam government questions high prices of imported baby formulas

TN News

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The government has asked the Ministries of Finance and Health to explain why they have allowed infant formulas to be sold at many times their import prices.

It has demanded a report by September 15 following a Vietnam Television feature which quoted customs data to say imported formulas retail for VND400,000-900,000 (US$19-42.7) a can, or up to 10 times their import prices.

Its website said that in January 2011 the health ministry had defined formula products as those with a protein content of at least 34 percent, turning many imported formulas for children under six into food supplements, whose prices are not regulated.

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Economist Ngo Tri Long had criticized this, saying that in many countries formulas only contain 13-17 percent protein.

Le Van Giang, deputy chief of the Vietnam Food Administration, told Tien Phong (Vanguard) newspaper last week that since 2011 prices of so-called nutritional supplement for babies have been increasing at least a couple times a year.

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