China steps up safety requirements for dairy firms
Posted: 6 January 2011 | Associated Press | No comments yet
China’s domestic dairy companies must renew their production licenses this year or will be closed, the government said…
China's domestic dairy companies must renew their production licenses this year or will be closed, the government said...
China’s domestic dairy companies must renew their production licenses this year or will be closed, the government said Thursday in the latest safety measure after melamine-tainted milk products killed six children.
Consumer confidence in the dairy industry plummeted in 2008 after it was revealed that the industrial chemical melamine was being added to watered-down milk to make its protein content seem higher and boost profits. Infant formula made from tainted milk killed six children and sickened hundreds of thousands.
Despite a sweeping crackdown that included the execution of a dairy farmer and a milk salesman, melamine has continued to show up in Chinese dairy products.
The official Xinhua News Agency reported that a top food safety official told a conference in Beijing on Thursday that all dairy product makers would have to get new production licenses this year or be closed.
Xinhua quoted Zhi Shuping, director of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, as saying the measure was meant to improve quality and safety in the dairy industry.
Melamine, which is used to make plastics and fertilizers, has also been found in pet food, eggs and fish feed, although not in levels considered dangerous to humans. The chemical, which like protein is high in nitrogen, fooled inspectors. It can cause kidney stones and kidney failure.