10 Mar 2015

Parent's concern at infant formula threat

9:11 pm on 10 March 2015

Wellington mum Anna McDougall says she has no option but to give one-month-old daughter Isobel formula this evening - despite the 1080 poison threat revealed today.

One-month-old Isobel McDougall, who is fed both formula and breast milk.

One-month-old Isobel McDougall, who is fed both formula and breast milk. Photo: Supplied

Police announced they had spent more than three months investigating the threat to poison infant and other milk formula.

Government officials said they and the industry had been working to ensure all the threatened products were safe, and that had included a new testing regime designed to detect 1080. To date, 40,000 tests had been carried out and no 1080 had been found.

But that was little comfort to Mrs McDougall, who breastfeeds Isobel but also tops her up with formula as she was a big baby, weighing 4.5kg when she was born on Waitangi Day.

She has checked her cans of formula; her current one has a September manufacture date but her backup was made in November.

She did not know which one would be best to use and said there seemed to be a lack of information for parents.

Mrs McDougall said she was putting her faith in news reports that it was OK to continue using the formula.

But she wanted to know why it had taken so long for officials to let the public know what was happening.

"I do question why, if the letter came in November, why we're only being told about it now," she said.

Mrs McDougall was also concerned she had not seen any information as to what the symptoms of 1080 poisoning in a baby would be but was heartened by a Plunket check today which showed Isobel to be in good health.

Plunket chief operating officer Andrea McLeod said the organisation had briefed its PlunketLine staff based on information from the Ministry of Primary Industries, police and the Ministry of Health.

"We are working alongside HealthLine, and any parents or caregivers who are concerned and looking for advice can call PlunketLine on 0800 933 922 or HealthLine 0800 611116," she said.

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