Sunday, 5 October 2008

Tainted milk from China turning up worldwide (IHT)

The Associated Press
Friday, October 3, 2008
Russian food inspectors have found nearly two tons of Chinese dry milk believed to be contaminated with melamine, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported Friday, the same day that the list of tainted products grew in other nations as well.
ITAR-Tass quoted Russia's chief epidemiologist, Gennady Onishchenko, as saying that the milk was seized in the eastern city of Khabarovsk, on the Chinese border.
The Vietnamese Health Ministry has discovered the industrial chemical in 18 food products imported from China and three other countries, and has ordered them recalled and destroyed, officials said Friday.
And health officials in the Philippines found melamine in 2 of 30 milk products from China tested for the chemical. The Philippine government had halted imports and sales of Chinese milk products pending inspections last week.
Australian food regulators recalled Chinese-made Kirin Milk Tea after tests found that the drink contained melamine. It is the fourth product withdrawn from the country's stores as a result of the tainted-milk scandal.
Milk containing melamine has been blamed for killing four babies and sickening more than 54,000 with kidney stones and other illnesses in China. The contamination has sparked global concerns about food products made with Chinese milk or milk powder and recalls in several countries of Chinese-made products.
The Chinese authorities believe suppliers trying to bolster output diluted their milk, adding melamine because its nitrogen content can fool tests aimed at verifying protein content.
The tainted food has also spread to the United States, where melamine has been found in Chinese-made White Rabbit Creamy Candy sold in California and Connecticut.
The Food and Drug Administration said Friday that trace amounts of melamine are safe in most foods, except for baby formula. A safety assessment by the agency concluded that 2.5 parts per million - a tiny amount - does not raise concerns. A week ago, the FDA warned consumers not to consume White Rabbit Candy and Mr. Brown coffee products because of possible melamine contamination.

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