Infant Formula Trade and Food Safety

Sarah W. Adelman, Katherine N. Schmeiser


Beginning in 2004, the Chinese formula market suffered from a string of contamination events from counterfeit formula in 2004, melamine in 2008 to mercury and aflatoxin (a human carcinogen) in 2012. In this paper, we seek to understand the effects of these safety concerns in a market which lacks product substitutes. Whereas the literature shows international flows for produce, beef, and poultry are changed by persistent contaminations, the international infant formula market is less responsive to repeated health concerns.

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Applied Economics and Finance    ISSN 2332-7294 (Print)   ISSN 2332-7308 (Online)

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