Baby milk made by Swiss food giant Nestle that was withdrawn from sale in Italy because of contamination with packaging ink is unlikely to harm public health, the European Commission said on Wednesday, according to the Reuters news agency.

A commission spokesman said the European Food Safety Agency had analyzed samples of the milk and determined that the chemical substance isopropylthioxanthone (ITX) should not cause a toxic threat in the levels detected.

“On the basis of the limited data available, the presence of ITX in food could be considered undesirable. However, it is not likely to present an immediate health risk at the levels reported,” spokesman Philip Tod told a news briefing.

ITX was also unlikely to harm the genetic material of cells, he said. The EU agency was expected to give preliminary advice on the issue within two weeks and a final assessment by March.

Italian police seized around 30m litres of the baby milk on Tuesday after tests showed it was contaminated with traces of ink used in the packaging.

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Tod said the Italian authorities had first reported the contamination in September and the EU executive had notified all member states through its rapid alert network.

Earlier Reuters reported that Nestle’s chief executive dismissed a recall of millions of litres of baby milk products in Europe as a “storm in a teacup” on Wednesday and said the move would not affect results at the world’s largest food company.

Chief executive and chairman Peter Brabeck said the recalled milk products, which contained traces of ink from their Tetra Pak packaging, posed no risks to health.

“It’s nothing. It’s a storm in a teacup,” Brabeck told journalists at a Zurich business event. “There is no risk to safety.”

Swiss-based Nestle said the chemical substance was not harmful but announced it was recalling infant food products in Italy, Spain, Portugal and France because of the problem.

Brabeck said the recall affected 2m litres of liquid baby food products in Italy.

The cost to the company of pulling the products off shelves would be EUR2m (US$2.4m) to 2.5m at most, an “absolutely negligible” amount, Brabeck said. Earnings before interest, taxes, debt and amortization (EBITDA) would not be affected.