Baby milk powder shortage

New Zealand mothers are having difficulty finding cans of baby formula in the supermarkets. Some supermarkets are limiting the number of cans to two per customer.

The shortage may be because Chinese in New Zealand are buying cans of formula to send back or to take back to families in China. One Chinese exporter bought $170,000 worth of baby formula from a supermarket in Auckland to send to China.

The problem could get worse this year which is the year of the Dragon. Many Chinese believe this is a lucky year for a baby to be born. There could be more babies born this year.

Milk powder for adults is also in short supply at the moment, again because a lot is sent to China. Pregnant women and older people like to drink milk.

The problem is linked to the baby formula scandal in China when melamine was added to the milk powder and babies became sick. As a result, Chinese mothers do not trust the quality of Chinese milk powder.

Listen to January 25th 2009 to hear about this scandal.

Vocabulary

baby formula – milk powder which is closest to mother’s milk
limit – not more than this number
shortage – not enough
pregnant women – expecting a baby
linked – connected
scandal –something that caused anger to the customers and disgrace to the company
melamine – white powder, often used to make plastics
trust – believe that it is good quality






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