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Misc. News : Recalls & Alerts Last Updated: Apr 20, 2011 - 9:38:09 AM

Tainted Chinese-made products found in Vietnam
By Sue Mueller
Oct 3, 2008 - 6:43:40 PM

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Friday October 3, 2008 ( -- Milk product contaminated with the industrial chemical melamine was found everywhere and countries involved asked distributers/retailers to recall and destroy the affected products.


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 theAssociatepress.


Most products were milk and other dairy products from China, the ministry said.  But some products including crackers were imported from Malaysia and Indonesia and Thailand.


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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