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Thursday 27th October 2016

Melamine found in NZ product

6th October 2008

The industrial chemical melamine has been detected in more products as the Chinese tainted milk scandal widens.


Initial tests of 30 food products including sweets, chocolate, yoghurt and powdered and liquid milk, sold in the Philippines revealed that two products contained melamine, a chemical added to milk by some in China to boost apparent protein levels in watered-down or low quality milk.

Philippines Health Secretary Francisco Duque the government's food safety bureau had no import record of the two milk products that tested positive for melamine contamination, and that they were "obviously smuggled".

The government was still carrying out lab tests on about 200 more products and would publish the results next week, after the melamine scare which emerged after kidney problems in tens of thousands of Chinese infants in recent months were linked to melamine in infant formula powder. Four babies have died after drinking tainted milk.

Meanwhile, food safety officials in South Korea said they had found melamine in a milk product imported from New Zealand.

The product, lactoferrin, was made by the Tatua Cooperative Diary Company of New Zealand, whose other products were now being banned pending further tests, the Korea Food and Drug Administration said in a statement.

It added that no traces of melamine were found in 19 baby formula products tested, however.

Tatua has suspended exports of lactoferrin and is checking where its product had been exported to and trying to trace the source of the melamine contamination.

But the company points out that New Zealand government tests revealed less than four parts per million of melamine in the lactoferrin.

Many countries have now banned imports of Chinese milk products, and are testing other foodstuffs which use milk products from China.

Chinese government offices are being flooded with calls from anxious parents calling for greater transparency in the authorities' handling of a crisis over tainted milk powder.

Authorities in China have detained dozens of people in raids on dairy farms.

While official media are emphasising the crackdown, in which top managers at New Zealand-invested joint venture Sanlu and other companies, along with local Communist Party officials, have already been fired, rights groups are warning that the government may be suppressing full media coverage of the scandal.


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