The big news in New Zealand related illegal white-powder dealing this week was the shipment of cocaine found secreted in a container that began its journey in New Zealand – in a container of baby formula.
But baby formula itself has become such a sought after commodity that authorities are clamping down on illegal exports of that white powder, too.
As Campbell Live reported earlier this year, baby formula shortages have been occuring in New Zealand, and are thought to be caused in large part by Chinese powder dealers buying up product from supermarkets and sending them home for resale.
The Chinese Global Times reports:
Parents warned importing NZ baby formula is illegal
Parents of nursing babies in China are not allowed to mail or ship infant formula from New Zealand as exports of dairy products is illegal without a proper license issued by that country, warned China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision Tuesday.
The administration said it was informed by New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) in September that it was cracking down on unlawful exports of infant formula to China.
Read the MPI press release that generated the news here – it estimates the illegal trade is worth more than $150 million.
The Global Times report continues:
The MPI said only individuals and corporations registered with the ministry are allowed to export dairy products including infant formula. It said people who break the law can be fined up to 300,000 NZ dollars ($41,015).
Even having a friend or relative mail the formula for a baby’s personal use is considered illegal. Li Yuanping, an administration spokesperson, warned that individual consumers will not be entitled to a refund if their formula is confiscated by New Zealand customs.
Following the New Zealand announcement that it was cracking down on illegal milk powder exports, the price of powder imports jumped, according to a report earlier this month in the Chinese People’s Daily: