Baby formula importers claim products safe

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The minister added that the affected babies were “improving, ” but refrained from giving any further details.

According to a list published on the French health ministry's website, the recall affects customers in countries around the world, including: Britain and Greece in Europe, Morocco and Sudan in Africa, Peru and Colombia in South America and Pakistan, Bangladesh and China in Asia.

The affected products are marketed under brands like Milumel, Celia and Picot.

French health officials said 26 infants have gotten sick since December 1.

Orient EuroPharma Co., one of the three Taiwanese importers of products made by French baby formula maker Lactalis, said Monday its baby formula - "Babycare" HA3 hydrolyzed protein formula - is safe. Consuming products contaminated with salmonella can cause severe diarrhea, stomach cramps and even vomiting.

Most people recover without treatment, but young children, as well as the elderly and people with compromised immune systems, have a greater risk of becoming severely ill.

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It said it is "sincerely sorry for the concern generated by the situation and expresses its compassion and support to the families whose children fell ill".

Experiments found mice that consumed allergy-triggering foods like eggs and peanuts passed on protective antibodies to their offspring through nursing.

The suspected contamination took place at Lactalis' factory in northwestern France.

The recall follows the salmonella infection of 20 infants in France this month, followed by identification of a salmonella agona bacterial infection of five more infants this week.

In 2015, Lactalis was rated the world's second largest dairy company with an annual turnover of £9.34bn by Rabobank - beaten only by food giant Nestlé.

Its other notable brands include President and Galbani cheeses and Parmalat milk.

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