Warnings about food supplements which contain ingredients considered unsuitable for consumption by children have done little to deter parents in the Indonesian capital Jakarta from administering them to their children.
The Jakarta Post reports that the supplements have already been approved by the country's Food and Drug Control Agency (BPOM) even though doctors and consumer groups have warned that they are not suitable for consumption by children.
Traditional Asian medicines continue to be popular among consumers in the region, although doctors often criticise them for failing to live up to the claims that they are 'cure-alls'. Many of these products contain a wide range of products, some of which could be harmful if administered to children.
The paper cited Dr Marius Widjajarta of the Indonesian Health Consumers' Empowerment Foundation who warned parents not to give food supplements to their children without consulting doctors.
Any product which claimed to be a panacea or to help boost intelligence was a fraud, he said. "No food supplement or medicine can do that," he said.
The BPOM has been criticised for approving the sale of the supplements despite numerous recommendations from doctors to ban the children's supplements which contain products such as the artificial sweetener cyclamate - products which are not recommended for children.