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Archive for Wednesday, September 17, 2008

China’s tainted milk scandal spreads

September 17, 2008

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— China's latest product safety scandal - tainted milk formula blamed for killing three Chinese babies and sickening 6,244 - expanded to include more foods Tuesday, with state media reporting some formula produced by companies involved was exported.

State broadcaster CCTV reported on its evening newscast that a nationwide inspection of the 175 Chinese companies making baby milk powder showed that 22 of them had traces of the industrial chemical melamine in their products.

One company, Guangdong-based Yashili, exported its products to Bangladesh, Yemen and Myanmar, CCTV said, but added that initial testing of samples of the company's exports turned up no trace of melamine.

In Hong Kong, food inspectors ordered a recall after melamine was found in an ice cream bar made by Shanghai Yili AB Foods. The amounts of the chemical found "would not pose major health effects from normal consumption of the bar, however, small children should not eat it," the Center for Food Safety said in a notice posted on its Web site.

None of the milk powder was exported to Europe or the United States, although Sanlu is 43 percent owned by a New Zealand dairy farmers' cooperative, Fonterra.

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