Melamine-tainted dairy product reappears in China

November 24th, 2010 - 3:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Nov 24 (IANS) Reports of melamine-tainted dairy products resurfacing in China’s markets have triggered alarm bells once again in the country, less than two years after a dairy scandal in 2008 caused much concern over food safety.

Market regulators in Xiangfan city in Hubei province have asked local businesses to trace 50 packages - each containing 15 bottles - of a corn-flavoured milk drink that is believed to contain melamine, a toxic chemical used in manufacturing plastics, China Daily reported Tuesday.

Sample tests showed the melamine level in the beverage was as high as 4.8 milligram per kg, which suggests that the chemical was “deliberately added” during the production process to beef up the protein content.

In another incident, the Xiangtan Yuanshan Dairy Industry Company bought a 25 kg bag of Dongyuan-brand milk powder as raw material for the dairy beverage.

Later, a test conducted by the Hunan administration of quality supervision and inspection showed that the melamine content was as high as 68 mg per kg, far exceeding the national standard.

In July this year, the Dongyuan-brand of milk powder, produced in Qinghai province, was exposed for containing excessive levels of melamine. The company, Xiangtan Yuanshan, claimed it bought the raw material without knowing it was tainted with melamine.

Production in Xiangtan Yuanshan has since been halted and a local food safety watchdog has placed the case on file for further investigation and prosecution. The dairy firm is likely to face legal charges for breaking food safety laws, the local administration of quality supervision and inspection said Tuesday.

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