November 23, 2005 - 6:39AM
Nestle SA, the world's biggest food and drink company, has recalled baby milk from four European markets after traces of ink were found in the product.
Nestle spokesman Francois-Xavier Perroud told Dow Jones Newswires that some of the formula had been withdrawn in France, Portugal and Spain, but that the largest amount was in Italy, where he said up to two million litres of milk had been recalled.
Earlier, authorities in Italy said they ordered the confiscation of about 30 million litres of baby milk.
Cristina Attina, an official with forest rangers in Rome, said a batch of milk due to expire in September 2006 had been contaminated by a chemical that leaked from the packaging. It said the substance appeared to be toxic.
The duties of forest rangers in Italy include overseeing food safety regulations.
Nestle's Italian headquarters in Milan said in a statement that the substance found in its Nidina 1 and 2 milk brands - identified as IsopropilThioXantone (ITX) - is not dangerous for the health.
"This decision was taken as an extreme precautionary measure to reassure consumers even if, based on the declarations of the packaging supplier and a rigorous analysis of available facts also conducted by independent bodies, Nestle believes that the level of ITX measured in the tested products does not represent a health risk," the company said.