Turkish customs authorities seized 1,200 tons of baby formula imported from Dubai that was en route to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus when authorities discovered they were past their date of expiry. The Milliyet daily reported that the baby formula was shipped from the Jabal Ali Port of the United Arab Emirates to Ambarlı port in Istanbul and was destined for Cyprus. As part of the export process, customs officials examined a sample from one of the shipping containers. It was then discovered that the expiry date of the baby formulas was already passed when the cargo left Dubai.
The spoiled baby formula will now be destroyed while an investigation is launched.
The Minister of Health, Mehmet Müezzinoğlu, said in a televised interview yesterday that the baby formula cannot be sold on the Turkish market as some experts claimed that the seized cargo would have been secretly sold in Turkey as importers and exporters might have been involved in a scheme to skip taxes. Müezzinoğlu said Turkey has a tracking system for medicine, baby formula and related goods that traces imports. "We can trace the origin, date of production etc., but there may be a small amount of smuggled goods. But they cannot sell it on the Turkish market anyway," he said.