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.
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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