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Wyeth offers free tests on infants' kidney stones

US-BASED Wyeth has agreed to cover all expenses associated with determining the cause of kidney stones among 20 Chinese infants who have been fed its milk powder.

Wyeth said it has received information about the babies and has contacted some of the parents who are concerned about a possible link between the company's products and their children's kidney problems, the National Business Daily reported yesterday.

The company has denied its formula is to blame, but it told the newspaper that it is willing to arrange for additional examinations to determine the cause of the kidney stones.

Families in Chongqing Municipality and Guangdong and Hubei provinces complained to the media that their children developed the stones because they had been drinking Wyeth milk formula.

Parents across the nation are on high alert after 22 domestic dairy companies were caught in September selling infant formula contaminated with melamine, a chemical added to make diluted milk appear to contain adequate protein. Milk powder from those products was blamed for the deaths of at least six infants and kidney stones and urinary tract problems in almost 300,000 others.

Wyeth said in a statement that all its products were produced with milk products from New Zealand and Australia and had been proved safe by many tests.

The newspaper report said 90 percent of Wyeth's products sold in the Chinese market are imported from Singapore while the rest are processed at a factory in Shanghai.

The quality of foreign milk formula was questioned recently after 80 families across the country said their babies developed kidney stones after drinking formula made by Shanghai-based Dumex Baby Food Co.

Health authorities later confirmed that Dumex products were melamine free.

According to medical experts, there are many causes for kidney stones in infants.


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