Infant breast development milk scandal


Beijing Times, August 13th, 2010

Today’s Beijing Times headline reads “Three Hubei babies don’t actually have premature sexual development.” Earlier this week, three baby girls from Hubei province were reported as having early sexual development due to drinking a baby milk formula from Synutra (圣元).

This caused a scare as thousands of other parents scrambled to find out if their children were also showing signs of premature sexual development, and even made it to international news. A subheading reads, “Whether or not their symptoms are related to milk powder must be investigated. Health department starts a special team to research early sexual development.”

The main article contains an interview with Professor Yang Yanlin (杨艳玲) from Peking University First Hospital of Pediatrics, who claims the three babies’ growth is perfectly normal.

The children’s symptoms cannot be directly correlated to any kind of milk formula or even food. Breast milk also contains hormones, so slight breast development is a perfectly normal phenomenon. It must be stressed that due to individual differences in body type, during their maturation process different infants will have different growth patterns.

The Times’ main picture shows a hospital building which collapsed yesterday after a sinkhole formed underneath it in Shanxi province. Because the sinkhole formed slowly, everyone was evacuated and there were no injuries.

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