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Tainted milk scare in China

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Tainted milk scare in China

Post  Panda on Tue 27 Dec - 15:37

Tainted milk product scare causes outrage in China

From Haolan Hong, CNN
December 27, 2011 -- Updated 1050 GMT (1850
HKT)


Food safety scandals have blighted China's dairy
industry in recent years.

STORY HIGHLIGHTS


  • The Chinese dairy company 'sincerely' apologizes to customers for the
    problems
  • The products, containing high levels of a potentially carcinogenic
    substance, have been destroyed
  • The company says the products did not go on sale and remained in storage
  • Chinese microblog users urge others to boycott the company's products



Beijing (CNN) -- Criticism of lax food safety standards at
Chinese companies abounded on microblogging sites in China on Tuesday following
the latest scare involving dairy products in the country.

Tests found that cartons of milk made by Mengniu Dairy Co., the largest
Chinese dairy company, had excessive levels of aflatoxin M1, a substance that
can cause liver cancer.

The tests were carried out by the Chinese Administration of Quality
Supervision in an inspection of nationwide milk products on Saturday.

The toxin came from contaminated feed consumed by the cows that produced the
milk, China's official news agency, Xinhua, reported.

The milk cartons did not make it to market but remained in storage during the
inspection, according to a statement from the company on Sunday. Mengniu said
that it had destroyed all the toxic milk as it sought to reassure consumers on
its commitment to product safety.

Mengniu "once again would like to sincerely apologize to all consumers," said
the statement. "We should earnestly learn from this lesson and comply with state
and company quality and inspection standards with precision and care, making
sure our product quality from every sector is approved in the future."

Users commenting on Chinese social media sites offered scathing opinions
about the management of Chinese companies following Mengniu's admission of
problems.

"Businesses in China are destroyed by Chinese businessmen themselves," said
one user on Sina Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter. "Don't ever blame us
on buying foreign goods."

"If I have a baby one day, I will also buy safer milk powder produced
overseas," the user wrote Tuesday.

"Let us boycott Mengniu altogether, show the shameless businessmen our
strength." said a posting by another user.

Food safety scandals have blighted the dairy industry in China since 2008,
when melamine-tainted milk killed at least six babies and caused kidney stones
and urinary tract problems in hundreds of thousands of children.

Twenty-one people were tried and sentenced for their roles in the scandal,
and two of them were executed.

In April, the police in Southwestern China seized more than 26 tons of
melamine-tainted milk intended for use in ice cream, according to local
officials.



Journalist Xiaoyu Luo contributed to this report.

Panda
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