The Straits Times
Published on Feb 01, 2013

Over 12,500 Hong Kongers petition Obama over milk shortage fears


HONG KONG (AFP) - More than 12,500 people have petitioned American President Barack Obama to help Hong Kong avoid a baby formula shortage, saying infants in the city are facing malnutrition due to mainland Chinese "smugglers".

Formula is popular with mainlanders because of concerns about the safety of food processed in China following a series of scandals, notably in 2008 when six babies died from drinking milk tainted with the chemical melamine.

The appeal, labelled "Baby Hunger Outbreak in Hong Kong, International Aid Requested", was posted on Tuesday on the "We the People" section of the White House website, which does not require petitioners to be US citizens.

The number of signatures has to reach 100,000 by the end of the month in order to trigger a response from the Obama administration.