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Police in Israel launch investigation into deaths of babies given formula milk

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: (Published 13 November 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:1128
  1. Judy Siegel-Itzkovich
  1. Jerusalem

    The Israel police have launched a criminal investigation into the deaths from beriberi of two infants and the hospitalisation of 13 more who since August were fed a German made, non-dairy, baby formula made for sale only in Israel.

    The special line of soya based formula—found by Israel's health ministry to “totally lack” the vital vitamin B-1 (thiamine)—was produced by the Humana company in Herford, Germany, one of the largest baby food manufacturers in Europe with an annual turnover of €;3bn (£2.1bn;$1.2bn).

    After two days of insistent denials of any error or wrongdoing, Humana finally took “technical and scientific responsibility” for the failure.

    The company's chairman, Albert Grossa Fray, said at a press conference …

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