At least 12 babies were bottle-fed from a party that was potentially contaminated with bacteria while in hospital earlier this month, but so far they are all good.
The 12 were patients in the KK Women & # 39; s and Children & # 39; s Hospital (KKH), while a baby in the National University Hospital (NUH) may have received milk from the recalled batch of Stage 1 Mamil Gold Infant Milk Formula from Dumex, the hospitals said in an update yesterday.
On Tuesday, the Ministry of Health announced that the formula for the batch in question had been used in the two hospitals between 1 and 20 August.
The 4200 cans, which were imported from Malaysia, were for sale on the entire island since January. They were recalled after samples tested positive for Cronobacter sakazakii bacteria, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AGM) said on Monday.
Although rare, bacterial infections can be fatal for newborn babies. Symptoms are fever, poor diet and lethargy. No cases have been reported so far.
Associate professor Ng Kee Chong, chairman of KKH's medical board, said of the 13 health care providers whose children suspected they were being fed infant formula, 12 confirmed it and everything is reportedly good.
The hospital also stopped using the Dumex Mamil Gold milk powder.
"Our highest priority is the health of the baby," said Prof Ng, adding that healthcare providers should immediately consult a doctor if their baby exhibits the specified symptoms or feels unwell.
Parents are dissatisfied with the waiver in reimbursement forms
A NUH spokesman said that it checked his data and that one patient received the product. The caregiver of the child is advised to check the condition of his child and to seek treatment if the symptoms develop.
Concerned parents have in the meantime flooded Dumex's telephone line and Facebook page, with a number of concerns about product restitution forms that they said were being asked to sign that waive their rights to future claims.
Officer Tan Eng Yi, who bought a look from the affected party for his five-month-old son, showed The Straits Times a copy of the reimbursement form.
The form, which mentions the batch number and the retail price of $ 54.50, asks for a name, identification number and signature and a check is returned to the claimant within two weeks.
He declares that the consumer, in view of the exchange / refund received, agrees to exempt Danone Dumex Early Life Nutrition Singapore and KWH Marketing from "any rights or claims (the consumer) may have on, and / or relation to with Dumex products ".
Dumex told The Straits Times that the purpose of the clause is to "avoid double exchanges and double refunds", adding that it has revised and modified the sentence to avoid confusion. It has not said what the modified version is.
Mr. Tan, who is forty, refused to sign the form. He said: "My biggest concern is about the ethics of Dumex … What about those parents who have already submitted their forms – will they get new ones?"
Lawyer Eugene Thuraisingam said that consumers have the right to request reimbursement from Dumex without signing a waiver.
"Under the law, in the event of a defect in a product, Dumex is obliged to repay the money paid."
If the form serves as a waiver of further rights, it is "clearly intended to circumvent further procedures … The difficulty will arise if actual damage has been suffered that only appears later," he added.
Mr. Loy York Jiun, executive director of the Singapore Consumers Association, said: "It is unfair to ask consumers to give up their right to further claims for possible losses, for example due to illness to their child, when consumers receive it of a refund of the money paid for the milk powder only. "
Such clauses "may create the false impression that consumers must waive all their rights to receive a refund for a product that has been advised not to consume them", he added.