New Tool: ProSource
Checkout our packaging and processing solutions finder, ProSource.
Start Your Search

Labels, not Similac, are phony

As if Ross Laboratories, Columbus, OH, didn't have enough trouble with fake 16-oz metal cans of powdered Similac infant formula in California (see PW, March '95, p.

8), it appears the product is a nationwide target. Not long after the fake product was discovered in California stores, a warehouse in Lexington, KY, contained powdered formula with both counterfeit labels and cases for Ross and other makers.

Now there's another scam: the Food & Drug Administration has discovered liquid Similac With Iron "ready to feed" in 8-oz plastic cans with counterfeit paper labels and a fictitious code number of OCT 96 L5 SI 89635. Genuine Similac labels use a metallized plastic substrate, not paper. The misbranded products are sold in six-packs. These containers have been found in at least 18 states from Alaska to Florida. Information gathered by FDA indicates that Ross' Similac and Enfamil products have been a target of counterfeiters since 1988.

What's the use of counterfeiting only the label and code? Since Similac With Iron is more costly than Similac without iron, the phony labels always reflect the higher-value product. Some Similac labels contain a "money off next purchase" coupon that the criminals can use for the next purchase. Still, there are label and box printers that are cooperating with the criminals.

Test Your Smarts
Take Packaging World's sustainability quiz to prove your knowledge!
Take Quiz
Test Your Smarts
Discover Our Content Hub
Access Packaging World's free educational content library!
Unlock Learning Here
Discover Our Content Hub