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The European Commission meanwhile said on Wednesday that the European Food Safety Agency had deemed that the baby milk withdrawn by Nestle posed “no immediate health risk at the levels (of the chemical) reported and it is not likely to harm genetic cells”.