Pauline Hanson has savaged a chemist which opens before sunrise so Chinese shoppers can bulk-buy tins of baby formula, claiming her daughter struggles to get hold of the product.
A My Chemist store in Melbourne has infuriated local mothers who don’t want to get up in the dark to buy the baby formula before it’s swept off the shelves.
The product is very popular with Chinese people because it typically sells for $20 a tin but can fetch more than triple that in mainland China.
One Nation leader Pauline Hanson today called for stricter caps on the amount one person can buy and revealed her daughter Lee often can’t get it.
Pauline Hanson has savaged a chemist which opens before sunrise so Chinese shoppers can bulk-buy tins of baby formula, claiming her daughter Lee (pictured together in 2004) struggles to get hold of the product
One Nation leader Pauline Hanson today called for stricter caps on the amount one person can buy and revealed her daughter Lee (pictured together) often can’t get it
‘I know there is a big problem Australia wide because a lot of chemists are really limiting it to one or maybe two tins per customer, which I think is fair,’ she told the Seven Network.
‘A lot of the Chinese here also are sending in their children as young as four to buy tins. It is a big problem.
‘Someone should jump in and manufacture more and export to China. A lot of foreign students are doing it. They are using it as extra income. They are selling it back to China.
‘It is a big problem and I feel sorry for the mothers here who have trouble getting formula as my daughter did.’
Other politicians are less concerned. Crossbench senator David Leyonhjelm said he supported dairy farmers who profited from the booming market.
He also said a foreign national can only export a very limited amount of the product.
A Melbourne chemist is coming under fire for opening its doors before trading hours to allow large swaths of shoppers (pictured) to stockpile tins of baby formula
One resident, just named as Paul, told the media that he was ‘disgusted’ to see the groups lining up in front of the My Chemist, on the corner of Elizabeth St and Flinders Lane, in order to snap up all the baby formula
The lucrative ‘daigou trade’, a network of Chinese shoppers who send Australian products back home, is worth an estimated $850 million.
Footage of the latest sale shows dozens of frenzied shoppers storming into the store and cleaning out the entire stock of baby formula.
The stock was bought before it could be unpacked and stacked on the shelves.
Some shoppers were aware enough to know why the photos were being taken and covered their faces in an attempt to shield their identities.
One resident, named Paul, said he was ‘disgusted’ to see the groups lining up in front of the store in the city’s CBD in order to snap up all the baby formula.
‘As a long-time local resident I am dismayed that businesses are allowing people without children to profiteer at the expense of Australian mothers that do,’ he said.
The group of mainly foreign shoppers can be seen in front of the store three times a week – on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings.
A manager working at My Chemist reportedly told The Herald Sun the store had a ‘six tin limit’ per customer.
Some shoppers were aware enough to know why the photos were being taken and covered their faces in an attempt to shield their identities
Bulk-buying such goods is increasingly controversial as Australian parents complain there is not enough left on shelves for them.
Dozens of photos and videos have emerged showing Chinese shoppers cleaning out entire supermarkets of baby formula tins some in coordinated efforts.
Some filled multiple trolleys, stacked their car boots or ute trays, or waited outside for shops to open so they could get every last tin.
Coles and Woolworths responded by imposing a two-tin limit, but it was easy to get around by going back for repeated transactions or just going to Costco.
There are 80,000 daigou – or ‘personal shoppers’ – in Australia, many making upwards of $100,000 a year.
Daigou shoppers resell the products through social media sites such as WeChat and Weibo and through online shopping sites.
One of the major causes is that while baby formula can fetch prices of up to $20 in Australia, they are much higher demand in mainland China, this has lead to dishonest stockpiling of baby formula which then extends to product shortages here