While shopping in Epping Plaza, Melbourne, mother Jessica Hay was outraged when she saw the majority of the baby formula being bought up by two Chinese shoppers. They already had two trolleys overfilled and had left someone to man the last few boxes, clearing a crate that had just been put out of the rare formula.
Having a newborn of her own and being unable to find the formula she had wanted two weeks earlier and eventually finding it four hours away, the incident infuriated Mrs Hay as she photographed the shoppers and posted it to a mother’s Facebook group.
She told Fairfax Media on Monday: “My blood was boiling for the mothers having problems finding A2 for their babies. I was feeling sensitive because I’ve got a newborn.”
Baby formula dangerously low in Perth supermarkets, by 7NEWS:
Another shopper urged the Woolworth’s employees to stop what was happening, but her pleas were ignored. The employee serving the customers was young and unaware of the limit on how many tins could be purchased.
Numerous messages have been sent to Woolworth’s Facebook page telling them to do something about the incident. Here are what some Facebook user’s think:
Woolworths responded by saying they do have an eight tin per customer limit, which they will enforce across all their stores; however, most mother’s feel this is still excessive and there should be a limit of 4.
Rallying up more support is a mother from St George, Elizabeth Pickworth, who has been trying for the last five months to get answers from Woolworths over their limit on baby formula, to which she has found it is at each store’s discretion. Now, she and 25 other parents across Australia are urging Woolworths to nationalize the policy.
The bulk buy by the Chinese are not to feed their babies, but so they can make a profit, with sites like taobao.com selling it for over A$50, more than triple the price they purchase it for, and with the tainted baby formula problems in China, there is no shortage of demand for quality baby formula.
Watch this report by Associated Press on tainted baby formula in China:
Hopefully, Woolworths and other places that sell formula will set strict requirements and stick to them. As a mother of a newborn myself, I can imagine the anguish mothers must be feeling knowing that one day they might not be able to purchase proper formula for their babies.