Panic over Chinese milk exports

China today tried to calm jitters about exports of tainted baby milk powder to five poor developing nations, saying no problems had been reported so far and that the government was working hard to address the issue.

Thousands of Chinese babies have fallen ill and at least three have died after drinking milk formula tainted with melamine, a substance banned in food, in the latest food safety scandal to hit the world's most populous country.

The government has already announced that five countries - Yemen, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Gabon and Burundi - have imported milk powder made by two Chinese firms whose products were found to be contaminated.

"Though there has been no bad reaction, the quality watchdog has demanded that these companies take action to recall the products," Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Jiang Yu told a regular news briefing.

She declined to comment on how this incident could affect China's trade relations with the rest of the world.

Meanwhile Hong Kong has ordered the recall of a Chinese company's products after tests found that eight out of 30 of its products, including milk, ice cream and yogurt, were contaminated with melamine.



Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group Co Ltd (600887.SS) is one of several Chinese firms implicated in China's growing milk powder contamination scandal. Powdered milk poweder containing melamine has killed four infants in China and made over 6,000 more ill.



"We are recalling the Yili products and the importer is also recalling all Yili products from the Yili brand," said Constance Chan, the Controller of Hong Kong's Centre for Food Safety, after latest round of test results of 30 samples of milk products.



"That would involve milk, milk beverages, yogurt, ice cream and ice bar. Eight out of 30 products of Yili company contain melamine," she added.



Last year a furious European Union threatened to ban imports from China if the country did not act more aggressively against makers of substandard goods. Similar calls where made by some politicians in the United States.



China has come under increasing pressure from trading partners to improve product quality following a series of scares ranging from drug-tainted seafood to dangerous toys and poisonous cough syrup and toothpaste.



Jiang defended China's reaction to the milk powder case.



"The State Council pays great attention to this issue," she said, referring to the Cabinet.



"Related departments have taken effective measures in the shortest possible time," Jiang added. "We will certainly deal with this seriously in accordance with the law. "Protecting product quality and ensuring food safety is a common challenge and task for all governments. The Chinese government will certainly take a very responsible attitude and earnestly deal with the problem."



In Myanmar, state media has made no mention of the case.



But the Bangladesh Standard and Testing Institute says it had collected samples of milk imported from China and sent it for laboratory tests.



"We are really worried (over reported contamination of imported milk) like others and are serious to deal with the issue," institute director Lutfor Rahman told Reuters.



On Thursday, South Korea's Food and Drug Administration said it was also testing products made with powered milk from China, with results expected next week.



"We predict that the products will be free from melamine contamination, but if they are contaminated, they will be recalled," one official said.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Arts and Entertainment
Jennifer Saunders stars as Miss Windsor, Dennis's hysterical French teacher
filmJennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress
Life and Style
tech
Sport
Nabil Bentaleb (centre) celebrates putting Tottenham ahead
footballTottenham 4 Newcastle 0: Spurs fans dreaming of Wembley final after dominant win
Life and Style
Sebastian Siemiatkowski is the 33-year-old co-founder and CEO of Klarna, which provides a simple way for people to buy things online
tech
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Service Desk Analyst - Application Support - Central London

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Service Desk Analyst (App...

Ampersand Consulting LLP: 3rd Line Support Engineer (Windows Server, Exchange Server)

£35000 per annum + Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: 3rd Line Support Engine...

Investigo: Finance Analyst

£240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...

Ampersand Consulting LLP: Server / Infrastructure Engineer (Exchange, Windows, VMware)

£32000 - £38000 per annum + Bonus and Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Serv...

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum