Supermarkets are now rationing popular brands of formula milk after a surge in demand from China has caused a rise in unofficial exports.

Danone, the manufacturer of much-loved brands Aptamil and Cow & Gate, has requested retailers (Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons) stop customers bulk-buying after students and businessmen have been caught sending large batches of tins to China – fetching three times the price.

Parents can only buy a maximum of two 900g tins each time they shop, but some chains have hired security guards to check customers don’t return later in the day for another batch.

Many Chinese families do not believe their locally-made powdered milk is safe after a formula scandal in 2008 where six babies died and 300,000 became ill after drinking milk that was laced with industrial chemicals.

“We understand that the increased demand is being fuelled by unofficial exports to China to satisfy the needs of parents who want Western brands for their babies,” said a Danone spokesperson, reports the BBC.

It’s rumoured that retailers are also capping sales of Nestlé’s SMA milk, despite the company saying there was no stock shortages.

Although there are restrictions regarding bulk-buying in one store, there is nothing to stop parents going to several different supermarkets to buy tins.

What do you make of the milk rations, a good idea or a cause for concern? Tell us your thoughts below…

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