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EU: Ink in Baby Milk

EU: Ink in Baby Milk Unlikely Health Risk
November 23, 2005
(11-23) 05:02 PST BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP)

European Union food safety experts believe ink traces detected in Nestle baby milk do not appear to present a risk to human health, the EU said Wednesday.

"It is not likely to present an immediate health risk at the levels reported," said EU health spokesman Philip Tod.

However he said the presence of the substance — isopropylthioxanthone, or ITX, — is considered "undesirable" in food by the EU's Food Safety Agency based in Parma, Italy. ITX is thought to have reached the milk from printing ink on the packaging.

Nestle SA, the world's biggest food and drink company, said Tuesday it recalled the baby milk from four European markets.

The Vevey, Switzerland-based company said some of the formula had been withdrawn in France, Portugal and Spain, but that the largest amount was in Italy, where up to 530,000 gallons of milk had been recalled.

Tod told reporters Italian authorities had first informed the European Commission about the problem in September and the EU executive body had immediately notified other member nations.

He said a contaminated batch had been taken off the market then and the company had changed its production processes. Nestle had made subsequent withdrawals "as a precautionary measure, but they insist that there is no risk to human health," he said.