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Chinese demand for baby milk causes ration in UK

LONDON — Demand for baby milk formula is surging in Britain, but it seems likely the powder is going to babies thousands of miles away.

British retailers said Wednesday they are limiting purchases of baby milk powder to two tins per customer after noticing some people were buying unusually large quantities in stores, apparently to export to China for profit.

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Danone, the dairy manufacturer, said it has significantly increased production of powdered baby milk in response to the trend.

Baby formula made by foreign brands is in great demand in China, where parents have been wary of local dairy products since contaminated milk killed six babies in 2008.

Chinese leaders have vowed to prevent any scandals like that melamine-laced milk formula from surfacing again, but the country’s dairy industry is still plagued by quality lapses.

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