Critics of a petition filed on a White House website seeking aid over the city's milk formula shortage say it's an embarrassing request to make when people are suffering from hunger elsewhere. "The whole world will be laughing at Hong Kong for this," one mother said on Baby Kingdom, a local forum popular among parents. "These people are turning the city into an international joke." Another person posted a comment saying: "It is a shame for someone to do a stupid thing like this. It makes the world think that we are very naive." An anonymous person started the petition on Tuesday on the White House's "We the People" section, where any appeal that receives 100,000 signatures within 30 days triggers a response from the Obama administration. Almost 8,500 signatures had been collected by last night. Some commentators on the forum suggested US President Barack Obama was not the best person to ask for help over the mainland run on milk powder formula. "He is not a milk manufacturer, nor is he a nanny. Why would people ask him for milk?" one post said. Seeking help from Chinese Communist Party chief Xi Jinping or World Health Organisation director-general Dr Margaret Chan Fung Fu-chun would be more effective, the person suggested. Those who backed the petition said they did not actually want international aid. "Nobody really thinks we need aid," one person said. "I signed it because I want other people to know about the inaction of our local government in tackling such a small problem, and how the mainland government continues to let mainlanders empty us of our goods. "This is supposed to be a joke to humiliate them. If they feel insulted [they should] do something about it." Another agreed, saying he had grown impatient about repeated reassurances of a solution from the government while the shortage persisted.