Sunday, October 5, 2008
BEIJING: China, mired in a health scandal over contaminated dairy products at home and abroad, said new tests had revealed no melamine in liquid milk on the home market.
It was the second time in days China has tried to repair confidence in its dairy products, saying also on Thursday the latest chemical tests had come back clean.
China's quality supervision authority had sent more than 5,000 inspectors to carry out "round-the-clock scrutiny" at dairy factories to restore consumer confidence, Xinhua news agency said on Sunday.
Thousands of children in China have fallen ill and four have died after drinking melamine-laced milk. The dairy scare, China's latest in a long line of food safety problems, also prompted mounting recalls and warnings abroad.
Samples of 609 batches of liquid, as opposed to powdered, milk from 27 cities across China were found free of melamine, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) announced.
The test was the sixth in China after the tainted milk powder scandal erupted last month. A total of 2,093 batches of liquid milk under 115 brands, among other dairy products, had been checked since then, Xinhua news agency said, citing the AQSIQ.
There was no clean bill of health, though, for powdered milk. The food safety watchdog said on Wednesday that 31 more batches had tested positive for melamine, which has been added to cheat nutrition tests.
The Ministry of Agriculture said Saturday it had developed an emergency rescue plan with the Ministry of Finance to give special subsidies to dairy farmers who have suffered from shrinking demand.
AQSIQ director Wang Yong told Xinhua that the government would "strive to ensure" all dairy products were melamine-free.
"Food safety concerns not only the health of the public, but also the life of business," Wang was quoted as saying.
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