Police in Israel launch investigation into deaths of babies given formula milkBMJ 2003; 327 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.327.7424.1128-i (Published 13 November 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:1128
- Judy Siegel-Itzkovich
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 …