PETALING JAYA: A consumer rights group has urged Nestlé Berhad to provide clear instructions on preparing a drink of Milo to ensure that the health of consumers is not endangered.
Yusof Abdul Rahman, vice-president of the Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (Fomca), said it was not enough for the company to merely state the sugar content on the packaging without instructions on how the chocolate malt drink should be consumed.
He told FMT there should at least be a warning against improper preparation of the beverage.
“Milo is marketed for children, and children usually do not know what they are consuming,” he said. “Some children drink it plain, some love to sprinkle the powder on top of their drinks and some will just eat the powder directly from the packet.”
He also noted that many people would add milk to their Milo and said this could double the sugar content in the drink.
Recently, businessman Vishen Lakhiani uploaded a video to the internet which alleged that Milo’s sugar content was too high. It went viral on social media.
Nestlé has rejected the allegation, saying sugar made up only 6% of a drink of Milo prepared according to the recommendation on the packaging.
Nestlé nutritionist Nurul Iliani Ahmad said in a press statement that five teaspoons of Milo powder should be mixed with 200ml of hot water.
According to Nurul, the 40% sugar content shown on the packaging refers to the Milo powder before water is added.
Yusof warned of the risk of obesity and diabetes and urged parents to guide their children on the proper consumption of the drink.
The Consumer Association of Penang has also weighed in on the controversy. Its president, SM Mohamed Idris, urged the health ministry to adopt a firm stand, saying children’s health was at risk.
“We gave our views on this matter a long time ago,” he said. “Milo promotes a lot of school activities and its slogan implies that one glass of Milo provides the energy that a child needs in a day.”
He also called for the banning of advertisements claiming that Milo provides health benefits.