An Arizona woman suspected of tampering with baby formula and returning it for a refund appeared in court Friday, KVOA reported.
Jennifer LaPlante, 30, was charged with fraudulent schemes and artifices and child endangerment. Tucson police allege that LaPlante bought and stole the formula, filling it with flour and other substances, and returned the tampered product to four Tucson stores. Bond was set at $50,000, KVOA reported. They also allege that LaPlante tampered with Gerber products including Good Soy Formula, but other products also may be affected.
Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus said at least one child became ill from the tainted formula.
"The child was treated and released from an area hospital last Friday, but obviously we're concerned about this and wanted to get the information out as quickly as possible to avoid any other children from becoming sick," Magnus told KVOA.
The stores affected were Fry’s and Walmart in Tucson, police said.
Fry spokeswoman Pam Giannonatti said she could not comment on whether or not the two stores involved in the investigation sold returned formula. She said the company is fully co-operating with the investigation.
"Once we were notified, we removed all of those items from all stores in Tucson,” she told KVOA. “All formula that is returned to our stores is immediately stickered with a 'no return' sticker so it is not resold.”
Walmart released a statement Friday morning, saying the company was “deeply disturbed.”
“Our customers deserve safe, quality foods, and we have policies in place to help ensure that returned baby food is not put back on our shelves,” spokesman Kim Aday said.
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