S'pore unaffected by fake Milo case in Malaysia, says Nestle

SINGAPORE/KUALA LUMPUR - Consumers can rest easy about the Milo tins and refill packs sold in Singapore as they are manufactured here, Nestle Singapore clarified with The Straits Times last evening.

It confirmed that there have been no such counterfeit product incidents reported in Singapore.

The products come with a "Made In Singapore" label, it said in response to queries on the Milo Singapore Facebook page.

Customers had asked if Singapore was affected by the fake Milo found in Malaysia, and Nestle replied: "The incident reported in the media does not refer to Milo in Singapore. Milo sold by Nestle Singapore is manufactured in Singapore at our Jurong Factory and comes with a differentiated label with the statement 'Made In Singapore'."

A spokesman told The Straits Times: "The safety and quality of our products is a non-negotiable priority for Nestle, and we are taking all necessary steps to protect the public from unscrupulous illegal operators who engage in manufacturing, distributing and/or selling counterfeit Nestle products."

The authorities in Malaysia have seized RM250,000 (S$93,700) worth of imitation Milo in Negeri Sembilan.

Malay daily Utusan Malaysia reported that the counterfeit products had been ready for distribution around the state. The raid in Mantin was conducted by the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry on Friday, said the report. Other items seized were 1,000 empty boxes, 50,000 empty plastic packs, a printer, a weighing machine and a numbering printer.

Malay Mail Online reported that six immigrants from Myanmar and Indonesia were arrested. After the raid, Nestle Malaysia started a campaign to help consumers identify counterfeits of its iconic drink.

It posted a photo on Facebook, explaining to consumers how to distinguish fake Milo packaging based on the perforation of a pack. It said the original Milo packaging is machine packed and cut, and the edges on the top of an original pack will not have perfect perforation, unlike those on a fake package.

"Dear fans, Nestle Malaysia has been alerted that the authorities have found counterfeit versions of Milo packaging and Milo powder being produced in Negeri Sembilan," the company said on its official Facebook page.

"Please be assured that we are working very closely with the relevant authorities, especially the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism, to ultimately curb this matter as the safety and quality of our products is a non-negotiable priority of Nestle."

The company also urged customers to lodge reports with its customer service if they purchased counterfeit versions of the chocolate drink.

Malay Mail Online said Nestle Malaysia reportedly claimed in 2009 that Malaysia was the world's largest drinker of Milo.

This article by The Straits Times was published in MyPaper, a free, bilingual newspaper published by Singapore Press Holdings.