Archive for the ‘eggs’ Category

China Poisoned Food Problem Step Ahead: Restrict Melamine

January 22, 2009

China plans to impose production controls on melamine, the cheap industrial ingredient at the center of a milk-contamination scandal that shocked China and the rest of the world last year, a newspaper said on Friday.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has circulated for comment draft production permit rules aiming to stem a melamine production glut and stop it from tainting food, the China Chemical Industry News reported.

Melamine is used to maker fertilizers, plastics and other industrial goods but gained notoriety as a cheap additive for milk and other foods. Rich in nitrogen, melamine can be used to fool tests for protein.

At least six young Chinese children died from kidney stones and more than 290,000 were made ill from melamine-contaminated milk formula, battering already dented faith in China-made goods and prompting massive recalls of dairy and other food products around the world.

Tian Wenhua, the former general manager of the now bankrupt Sanlu Group, the company at the heart of the poisoning scandal, has pleaded guilty to charges of “producing and selling fake or substandard products”. She is expected to be sentenced to life imprisonment.

The Industry Ministry hoped the new rules would end such scandals, the newspaper said.

Until recently, melamine has been widely sold, including over the Internet, for around 10,000 yuan ($1,500) a metric ton. It has also been detected in eggs, chocolates and other foods.

The ministry also aims to shrink the number of melamine producers by setting minimum production levels and strengthening controls on ingredients and waste.

A two-month-old boy died on Sunday after being fed with milk formula made by a Guangdong milk company in eastern Zhejiang province, the Oriental Morning Post reported on Friday.

The report made no mention of melamine, but authorities were investigating, it said.

(Reporting by Chris Buckley; Editing by Nick Macfie for Reuters)

China to launch pre-New Year food safety campaign

January 12, 2009

China will launch a pre-Lunar New Year crackdown on food safety, the Health Ministry said on Monday, focusing on illegal use of additives after a milk scandal last year killed at least six babies and made thousands sick.

The campaign would focus on seven provinces, including Hebei where the milk contamination scandal began, ministry spokesman Mao Qunan told a news conference.

“Groups and individuals who have broken the law will be dealt with firmly to completely ensure people’s food safety over the holiday period,” Mao said. “We will report important cases to society in a timely manner.”

The Lunar New Year starts on January 26, when traditionally millions of Chinese head back to their home towns to feast and celebrate with their families.

At least six young Chinese children died from kidney stones and more than 290,000 were made ill from melamine-contaminated milk formula, battering already dented faith in China-made goods and prompting massive recalls of dairy and other food products around the world.

Melamine is used to maker fertilizers, plastics and other industrial goods but gained notoriety as a cheap additive for milk and other foods. Rich in nitrogen, melamine can be used to fool tests for protein.

It has also been detected in eggs, chocolates, ice creams, yoghurts and other foods.

China has suffered other food additive scandals in the past, including the use of carcinogenic chemicals as food colorings.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Nick Macfie at Reuters)

“Made in China” label battered by product scandals

December 8, 2008

Milk, toothpaste, cough syrup, pet food, eels, blood thinner, car parts, pork, eggs, honey, chicken, dumplings, cooking oil and rice — if you can fake it or taint it, you can almost guarantee it’s happened in China.

A string of product safety scandals, including contaminated infant formula that is believed to have killed six babies and sickened thousands of others, have rocked the faith of shoppers, making them wary of buying products made in China despite the often cheaper price tag.

Officers from the local Administration for Industry and Commerce ...
Officers from the local Administration for Industry and Commerce prepare to destroy confiscated milk in Baofeng, Henan province in this November 10, 2008 file photo.(China Daily/Files/Reuters)

By Ben Blanchard, Reuters

“I was physically disgusted when I saw it on the TV,” said Sally Villegas, a mother of two in Australia, referring to the melamine-tainted infant formula scandal that came to light in September.

“If I’m shopping and I pick up a product made in China, yes I would put it back.”

The melamine scandal was the latest in a string of recent high-profile safety problems that included lead paint on toy cars and contaminated Chinese-made blood thinner heparin which was blamed for fatalities in the United States and Germany and prompted a global recall early this year.

After each scandal, Beijing seemed to have the same response: launching a crackdown, destroying tainted goods on television, jailing a few officials and saying they “pay great attention” to the problem.

Trouble is, for all the government’s efforts and exhortations, the scandals keep happening, and will likely keep on happening, due to lax rule enforcement, fragmented industries, widespread poverty and the sheer size of China, analysts say.

“I’m sure that there will be more. It’s a near certainty. Not only in the fields that we’ve seen already, but in other ones,” said Duncan Innes-Ker, a China analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit in Beijing.

“China faces a lot of problems because it is developing into a big but very poor economy, and obviously you can’t have Western-style safety mechanisms in an economy where half the population doesn’t earn much more than a couple of dollars a day,” he added.

CHINESE PRODUCTS SHUNNED

Jin Biao, vice president of Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group, one of China’s largest dairy producers, admitted the melamine problem had dented the country’s already badly tattered reputation overseas.

“The contamination was our management problem. We must first resolve it without trying to pass the blame on to the farmers, or to society, or the country,” he told Reuters.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20081208/ts_n
m/us_china_safety_2