NEW Zealand government officials are investigating a makeshift Melbourne warehouse that is shipping up to 10,000 cans of baby formula a month to China. Intelligence experts from New Zealand's Ministry for Primary Industries believe the Melbourne warehouse may be linked to a scam in their country.|
The NZ Government recently cracked down on the milk racket, and officials expected that would push the trade to Australia.
The Clayton warehouse, exposed by the Herald Sun yesterday, was making up to $200,000 a month tax free by sending Karicare baby formula to China in plain-packaged shipments of six to exploit a legal loophole.
But a customer of the Clayton warehouse has defended the company, saying the operators were sending the formula to distressed relatives in China who needed a safe supply after a major health scare in China in 2008 killed six babies and made 300,000 sick.
"I felt a little bit guilty when I tried to purchase Karicare from Chemist Warehouse and found the shelves were empty," the man said.
"I understand that empty shelves means people in Australia can't have proper milk powder for their babies - the same thing also happens in Australian Chinese community."
He said that the company charged only $70 for shipping six cans of formula, compared with $120 through Australia Post.
Federal Opposition food security spokesman John Cobb demanded controls between Australia and New Zealand on this product, calling for immediate engagement between the two countries.