Israeli health ministry officials face charges relating to faulty baby formula

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 15 May 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:1095
  1. Judy Siegel-Itzkovich
  1. 1Jerusalem

Nearly five years after an imported baby formula that was lacking in thiamin (vitamin B1) allegedly caused beriberi in Israeli babies fed solely with the product, eight people, including a senior health ministry physician, have been indicted for causing the deaths by negligence of three infants and severe or potentially severe injury in more than 20 others.

The kosher, soya based powder, prepared solely for Israel by the German company Humana, did not include a thiamin supplement in a new formula it began manufacturing in 2003 (, 15 Nov 2003, News Extra doi: 10.1136/bmj.327.7424.1128-i).

Although senior officials in the Israeli import company Remedia allegedly knew (according to the indictment) that Humana had decided to stop adding the vitamin, they did nothing about it and did not …

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