Tetra Pak to halt use of ITX in cartons

Swedish packaging company Tetra Pak has said it will stop using the chemical ITX in its milk and juice cartons after Nestle this week recalled a type of baby milk feared to have been contaminated with the substance.

“Tetra Pak made a commitment in September to eliminate the risk of transgression” of ITX into infant formula, Tetra Pak spokeswoman Patricia O’Hayer told AFP, adding that the company would now also remove the substance from other packaging products.

“We are transitioning the rest of our products by the end of the year,” she said.

The decision follows Swiss-based Nestle’s withdrawal on Tuesday of a type of baby milk from sale in France, Italy, Portugal and Spain following fears about chemical contamination from the packaging.

The ITX chemical had been used in ink printed on packages produced by Tetra Pak in the Netherlands and later sent to Spain before being redistributed to the three other countries in question.

“As soon as authorities identified the presence of ITX in infant milk, Tetra Pak, together with infant formula maunfacturers, took immediate action and switched to printing processes using non UV inks,” the Swedish company said in a statement.

Nestle officials also said the production process had been changed to ensure the chemical did not find its way into the milk.

“Tetra Pak has a long history of providing safe packaging. We take this responsibility very seriously,” O’Hayer said.

The European Commission meanwhile said on Wednesday that the European Food Safety Agency had deemed that the baby milk withdrawn by Nestle posed “no immediate health risk at the levels (of the chemical) reported and it is not likely to harm genetic cells”.



Tetra Pak billionaire Hans Rausing dead at 93

Swedish businessman Hans Rausing, credited with turning food packaging company Tetra Pak into a global giant, has died in England aged 93, his family said.

Tetra Pak billionaire Hans Rausing dead at 93
Hans Rausing inherited Tetra Pak from his father Ruben Rausing. Photo: Peter Lyden
“Hans Rausing had exceptional drive, and right to the end a commitment to entrepreneurship in Sweden and around the world,” they wrote in a statement. He died on Friday.
His father, Ruben Rausing, co-founded a company in southern Sweden that was an early innovator in food packaging, seeking to move away from bulk sales of foods such as flour and sugar to consumers.
Ruben Rausing developed the first cardboard container in the shape of a tetrahedron — a shape made of four triangular sides, also known as a triangular pyramid. It is the shape that gave the company its name.
The new packaging was most notably used to sell milk, replacing glass bottles in a pre-plastic revolution for beverage packaging.
Born in 1926, Hans Rausing was appointed managing director of Tetra Pak International in 1954, and with his brother Gad led the company for four decades. 
He retired as president in 1993, having grown the company from seven employees to 36,000 and giving it a global presence.
Under the brothers' leadership, Tetra Pak continued to develop new packaging, creating sterile materials and new shapes, and designed machines for the ultra-high-temperature (UHT) pasteurisation of milk.
In 1991, Tetra Pak acquired Alfa Laval, a leading supplier of equipment for the agricultural industry, and the group became known as Tetra Laval. 
Rausing, who left Sweden for the United Kingdom in the 1980s for tax reasons, is estimated to have amassed a fortune of some $12 billion (11 billion euros), according to Forbes magazine.
Tragedy struck the family in 2012, when the businessman's daughter-in-law Eva died from a drug overdose aged 48. 
Her rotting corpse was found more than two months after her death under a pile of bedding in a room in the London home she shared with Rausing's son, Hans Kristian.  
He pleaded guilty to preventing the lawful and decent burial of his wife, and received a 10-month sentence, suspended for two years.
He said he could not deal with her death. The couple had met at a drug addiction clinic.