BEIJING -- China's Health Ministry has instructed food safety authorities in Hubei Province to investigate claims that milk powder has caused infant girls to grow breasts, a ministry spokesman said.
Ministry spokesman Deng Haihua said at a regular press conference that food safety authorities were already testing samples of milk powder made by Syrutra, a Qingdao-based company.
They were also conducting a medical investigation into the cause of the infants' conditions in consultation with medical experts, he said.
Deng said causes for sexual precocity of children were complicated and could be caused by a wide range of factors, and experts had no way to definitely determine if food or environmental factors were involved.
Media reports said parents and doctors in Hubei had feared that hormones in milk powder produced by Syrutra had caused at least three infant girls to develop prematurely. Another case was reported in Beijing.