PHILADELPHIA – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized 588 cases of infant formula, valued at about $30,000, in Philadelphia recently for violating U.S. Food and Drug Administration import safety regulations.
During February, CBP officers inspected 17 separate shipments of a variety of HiPP and Holle brand infant formulas that arrived from Germany and The Netherlands, respectively. The infant formula was destined to a Philadelphia freight forwarder for eventual delivery to an address in Nevada. Officers detained the shipments and consulted with the FDA who issued import safety alerts concerning noncompliant infant formula.
In March, the FDA determined that the infant formula lacked appropriate nutritional labeling and violated the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) as misbranded and adulterated consumer products. The FD&C Act prohibits the introduction, or delivery for the introduction, into interstate commerce of any food, drug, device, tobacco product, or cosmetic that is adulterated or misbranded. Additionally, the manufacturers failed to comply with FDA regulatory requirements to sell their infant formula in the United States.
Consumer protection remains a CBP hallmark trade enforcement priority, and the agency cautions consumers who may be considering buying online from overseas vendors.
“Consumers should be very careful when contemplating the purchase of items over the internet from an international source, because they may not get what they expect. People expect that the products they purchase comply with existing U.S. health and safety laws and regulations and they’ll be safe for them or their family. That’s not always the case.” said Keith Fleming, CBP’s Acting Director of Field Operations in Baltimore. “CBP remains steadfast in our continuing commitment to working with the Food and Drug Administration and our other consumer safety partners in our collective efforts to help keep our citizens safe.”
CBP officers from the Office of Field Operations conduct the agency’s border security mission at our nation’s Ports of Entry. CBP officers screen international travelers and cargo and search for dangerous drugs, unreported currency, weapons, counterfeit consumer goods, prohibited agriculture, and other illicit products that could potentially harm the American public, U.S. businesses, and our nation’s safety and economic vitality.