Friday October 3, 2008 (foodconsumer.org) -- Milk product
contaminated with the industrial chemical melamine was found everywhere and
countries involved asked distributers/retailers to recall and destroy the
Vietnam's health ministry said Friday that it has
discovered the contaminant in 18 food products imported from China and three
other countries and has ordered all of them recalled and destroyed.
Vietnamese officials said on the Ministry of Health's Web
site that melamine was found in dairy products and crackers imported from
China, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.
The government did not reveal all the names of the
products that contained melamine, but five varieties of Yili milk was among the
list of contaminated products.
"We will intensify our inspections for melamine
contamination to ensure the safety of consumers," Nguyen Thi Khanh Tram,
vice director of Vietnam's food safety administration was cited by
Most products were milk and other dairy products from
China, the ministry said.
products including crackers were imported from Malaysia and Indonesia and
It is unknown where they were made and whether the
contamination was originated in these countries or China.
Retailers in Vietnam had already removing tons of Chinese
dairy products out of their stores and importers had been destroying them even
before the new contamination was discovered, news media in Vietnam reported.
Vietnamese officials have said all dairy products will be
required to be tested in order to enter the country.
In the Philippines, health officials said melamine was
found in two of 30 milk products imported from China.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III identified the two
products Friday as Mengniu and Yili, which were found contaminated in China.
Duque said the remaining 28 products, including powdered
milk, M&M chocolate candies and yogurt were free of melamine and 200 more
were still being tested. The results were expected for early next week.
The Philippine government has already halted imports and
sales of Chinese milk products.
In Russia, ITAR-Tass cited the country’s chief
epidemiologist Gennady Onishchenko as saying 2 tons of dry milk was seized for
melamine contamination in the city of Khabarovsk on the Chinese border.
Food regulators in Australia have recalled Chinese-made Kirin
Milk Tea, the fourth product on the recall list of the country, after it tested
positive for melamine.
Adulterated milk powder has killed at least four babies
and sickened more than 54,000 with kidney stones and other illnesses in China.
In South America, Uruguay’s public health ministry has banned
all dairy imports from China on Thursday, including baby milk formula.
The tainted milk has also been used in many other food
products prompting several countries to recall Chinese-made products with milk.
It's believed that Chinese dairy farmers and milk brokers
deliberately added melamine, which is nitrogen-rich, into milk diluted with
water to maintain a normal reading of protein content in the adulterated milk.
The tainted foods have been found in Chinese-made White
Rabbit Creamy Candy sold in California and Connecticut.
The Food and Drug Administration updated information on
melamine contamination saying that trace amounts of the chemical are safe in
most foods, except for baby formula.
Specifically the agency said the safety threshold is 2.5
parts per million or ppm.
The FDA already
warned consumers not to use dairy products from China and a week ago it also
warned consumers not to eat White Rabbit Candy and Mr. Brown Coffee products
because of possible contamination.
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