Black Markets

Baby Formula Ranks as Top Smuggling Demand in Hong Kong

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We'll stick with rum, thanks

Remember that scandal years ago when hundreds of thousands of babies got sick from Chinese-made formula and six died? The people of China and Hong Kong sure do. It's creating a black market for imported baby formula big enough to displace the typical drug trade.

Business Web site Quartz reports:

In almost two months, authorities have arrested more people for smuggling milk powder than for trafficking drugs in all of last year. Officials seized 8,841 kilograms of formula and arrested 879 people between March 1, when Hong Kong started limiting outbound travelers to two cans of formula each, and April 23. Almost half of that came from a syndicate that was hoarding about HK$1.1 million ($141,700) worth of milk powder.

By comparison, in 2012, Hong Kong arrested only 430 people for smuggling "dangerous drugs" worth HK$1 million, according to government data. (The most trafficked drugs in Hong Kong are ketamine, heroine, and cocaine.) However, the jump in milk formula smuggling also coincides with a fall in the amount of drugs being seized, presumably because there is less flowing through Hong Kong. The former British colony has been making a concerted effort to crack down on the narcotics trade. In 2011, Hong Kong was taken off the US list (paywall) of major drug transit centers.

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  1. Breastfeeding isn’t an option?

    1. Only in Korea.

      1. Clothespins are in short supply with the increase in washer/dryer units.

    2. Not often a desirable one.

      I mean, why would a woman breastfeed when God invented formula?

      1. Because the formula is toxic or made overly expensive by trade tariffs?

        Here formula is a bit pricey, but abundant and generally safe. I can see why it would displace breastfeeding for many out of convenience. If those two things weren’t true, I’d think that pumping and breastfeeding would be more desirable.

        1. Sorry, I was chanelling my ex-wife who hated breastfeeding almost as much as my daughter.

          1. Umm she and your daughter both hated breastfeeding or your ex wife hated your daughter?

            I know it was extremely painful for one of my sisters. I doubt that’s uncommon.

            1. It’s a shame, since breastfeeding really lowers the chances of breast cancer. By something like 40 or 50%.

              1. I was under the impression that it was the cessation of the period that reduced breast cancer risk due to preventing mitosis. Is breastfeeding separate from that, or is a correlation thing?

    3. There is solid evidence that breastfeeding increases IQ.

      1. Later studies suggest that there’s only solid evidence that people who breastfeed have children with high IQ, but the people who choose to breastfeed also have high IQ, so it looks more like correlation than causation.

      2. American| 4.26.13 @ 7:32PM |#
        “There is solid evidence that breastfeeding increases IQ.”

        Murcan, you’re an ignoramus; if *you* said the earth rotates such that it looks like the son rises in the east, I’d sure look to the west.
        So, if you’re making any claim at all, I’d suggest some cites.

    4. Breastfeeding isn’t an option?

      Some women, like my wife, just can’t produce enough milk for the baby.

      1. A friend of mine dealt with that. She’d planned to go all natural and then felt like a failure. She had some success with fenugreek, but not enough and started supplementing with goats milk (much easier to digest for children). Good god when that child spat up was it awful. The kid’s healthy as a horse now.

        1. So the goat milk was laced with horse milk?

          1. It was mammals all the way down.

  2. Why is it a black market? WIH is illegal?

    1. Protectionism, I’d guess.

      1. So it’s smuggled to avoid the tariffs? I guess.

    2. Hong Kong resident here. Locals were complaining that “tourists” from Mainland China were buying up all the formula milk to smuggle it into China proper. [HK and the rest of China are separate to all intents and purposes]. There is a lot of hatred towards the rest of China these days here…

  3. It’s pretty amusing that consumers trust the reputation of black marketeers over government regulated suppliers.

  4. My girlfriend thinks breastfeeding would be a great, fun part of raising a kid, if she ever has one. Does that mean she’s a self-loathing, submissive, anti-feminist kitchen wench?

    1. Just ignorant. My mom went through it with six kids and hated it.

    2. No, breastfeeding is the proper feminist thing to do. Formula was invented by the patriarchy to defeminize the feeding of children because men view breasts as sex objects and selfishly don’t wish to share access to them with babies.

      1. Damn straight HM

      2. BOOBIES!1

        /Libertarian anarcho-patriarchist

    3. are they into cloth diapers?
      making their own household cleaners?
      are they into sign language for their children?

    4. I have found that reality is often quite different than you imagine it to be beforehand.

      Maybe she will love it, maybe not. Most women seem to hate it or at least find it a chore. A minority of women love it for the bonding.

      I just took a survey in my house and 4 women confirmed what I just said.

  5. McCain, in a rather nonsensical point says that I believe if we pass this legislation, it won’t gain us a single Hispanic vote, but what it will do is put us a playing field where we can compete. Right now we can’t compete.”

    Way to say one thing and then totally contradict it. Libertarians and other open borders republicans can make moral arguments for their position. But they simply cannot argue that it will help the GOP win elections. It is a matter of facts.

    1. And if there’s one thing you know, it’s facts. You have to in order to willfully ignore them.

  6. McCain, in a rather nonsensical point says that I believe if we pass this legislation, it won’t gain us a single Hispanic vote, but what it will do is put us a playing field where we can compete. Right now we can’t compete.”

    Way to say one thing and then totally contradict it. Libertarians and other open borders republicans can make moral arguments for their position. But they simply cannot argue that it will help the GOP win elections. It is a matter of facts.

    1. It certainly won’t win the Hispanic vote, but McCain (not to mention Bush) did do better than Romney did among Hispanics, and much better among Asians (even though McCain somewhat changed his tune on the issue during election season to appeal to the base), even though Romney had a much more favorable electoral climate. In any case, while Romney would have won the popular vote if no Hispanics voted, he still would have lost in the electoral college.

  7. Since most of you are too lazy to start a thread over at 24/7:

    Man with gun stops stabbing spree at Salt Lake City shopping mall.

    Police say the suspect purchased a knife inside the store and then turned it into a weapon. Smith’s employee Dorothy Espinoza says, “He pulled it out and stood outside the Smiths in the foyer. And just started stabbing people and yelling you killed my people. You killed my people.”

    This wouldn’t have happened if Congress would side with 90% of the people and pass mandatory background checks on knife purchases.

    1. Seriously, dude, the hoplophobes can all go fuck themselves. That such despicable ignorance is considered popular sentiment by these people is staggering.

    2. I just added a mini-rant over there before I saw this. Turns out it’s a year old (d’oh).

      1. D’oh indeed. Shackford or the intern who published this shall be severely punished.

    3. “turned it into a weapon”?

  8. OT: I’ve stayed away from scotch for the past several years, owing to a bet/pledge. Only ever got a bit into it, and have been more into bourbon, rye, gin, and exotic liquors. Wife has assigned me to figure out a scotch as a present for a friend of ours.

    I’m thinking a MacCallan 12 or maybe Talisker.

    Thoughts?

      1. Obviously, yea. I don’t have time to infiltrate Canada and the LCBO.

        What’s better than $26k scotch? Free $26k scotch.

    1. I did some research on this topic recently. If you are looking for really good stuff, price isnt necessarily a good measure.

      I looked at several online ratings and asked around. Glenlivet seems to score in the 95 – 99 percentile of good tasting scotches. It isnt what I would call cheap, but it isnt the really high end either.

  9. So, why didnt I think of that? Wow.

    http://www.GotzMyAnon.tk

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