This story is starting to appear in the press here today - concerning the Yashili formula company (part US owned). They are currently undertaking some 'damage limitation' on the stock market following a recent scare regarding the hormone levels in their formula milk which apparently caused some babies to develop breast tissue.
'Medical tests indicated the levels of hormones in three girls who were fed baby formula made by Synutra, a company based in the eastern city of Qingdao, exceeded those of the average adult woman, the China Daily reported'
This scare is particularly worrying since controls on the manufacture of infant formula in China were supposed to have been tightened up following the 2008 scandal when melamine was added to formula milk in order to make it appear to have a higher protein content. This caused the deaths of 6 infants and sickened 300,000 others. Two people were executed over the scandal.
In 2005 Nestle were forced to remove one of their formula milks from supermarkets in China because it exceeded legal levels for iodine.
At present it is thought that the high levels of hormones present in the latest formula milk story may have been caused by the use of hormones on cows during the milk-manufacturing process. No law exists yet in China to prevent this.
"About 17% of dairy cows in the United States are injected with Bovine somatotropin, also called recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST), recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), or artificial growth hormone. The use of this hormone increases milk production from 11%-25%, but also increases the likelihood of cattle developing mastitis, reduction in fertility and lameness. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has ruled that rBST is harmless to people, although critics point out increased levels of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) in milk produced using this hormone. The use of rBST is banned in Canada, parts of the European Union, Australia and New Zealand."*
My thanks to Vicky for the heads-up on this story.