A2 Milk Company Ltd (ATM.NZ) said on Wednesday the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) deferred its request to sell infant milk formula products in the United States, sending its shares down more than 12%.
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A2 milk is seen on a supermarket shelf in Singapore April 16, 2018. Picture taken April 16, 2018. REUTERS/Thomas White/File Photo

The dairy producer and rival Fonterra (FCG.NZ) have been advised by U.S.-based trade group International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) that the FDA has sent similar letters to all firms seeking approvals to sell infant milk formula in the United States.

Fonterra, however, told Reuters that it had not yet received any such notice from the FDA itself.

An FDA spokesperson told Reuters in an email response that the FDA had sent letters to some firms, not all, deferring further reviews of applications due to a list of issues.

“For firms that received letters, they do not mean that the infant formulas are unsafe; rather, they indicate that we have found issues that would unlikely be resolved quickly,” the spokesperson said.

The IDFA did not immediately respond to a Reuters’ request for clarification.

“At this time, the FDA is deferring further consideration of the company’s request for enforcement discretion to import infant milk formula products,” a2 Milk said on Wednesday. (https://bit.ly/3dnbRaA)

Shares of a2 Milk tumbled as much as 12.3% to NZ$4.94 after the new came in and were headed for their biggest single-day drop since Aug. 26, 2021.

China’s dairy imports have slowed amid rolling Covid lockdowns and a weakening economy that has many analysts slashing their 2022 and 2023 economic growth estimates for the country.

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