Baby milk powder sales still an issue in Holland, 15 discrimination complaints

new baby handAnti-discrimination bureaus have had 15 complaints since last October from women who say they were not allowed to buy baby milk because of their appearance.

The new cases bring the total to 45 since the first complaint was made in April 2013, broadcaster Nos says. There have been regular shortages of baby milk since the 2008 melamine scandal in China and traders are known to buy up large quantities of Dutch product and send it abroad, the broadcaster says.

Last week, the Dutch human rights council considered cases brought by two women, one of Chinese origin and one from Cape Verdi, both of whom say they were discriminated against.

The woman from Cape Verdi was told by a shop assistant in a Jumbo supermarket she could only buy milk powder if she brought her baby to the store. After protests she was allowed to buy one packet, even though Jumbo operated a two packs per customer policy at the time.

The second case concerns a Chinese woman who was refused milk powder at another Jumbo outlet. By this time the supermarket had introduced a one pack per customer policy.


Last year, the council ruled a branch of Kruidvat and a branch of Etos had discriminated against two women by refusing to sell them milk powder. The verdict in the new cases is due on April 30.

Supermarket lobby group CBL said supermarkets feel they have to take steps to prevent misunderstandings and have introduced limits to ensure fairness.

Customers are refused milk powder because they want to buy more than allowed, not on the grounds of discrimination, the organisation told Nos. has been free for 12 years, but now we are asking our readers to help. Your donation will enable us to keep providing you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. You can donate via Ideal, credit card or Paypal using this special account [link].