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China’s milk scare spreads to Malaysia, Singapore and Myanmar

 


September 21, 2008

China’s milk scare spreads to Malaysia, Singapore and Myanmar
Malaysia, Singapore and Myanmar over the weekend took action against the sale and consumption of imported milk products from China after reports of illness and even death among children in China consuming milk powder tainted with melamine, a banned chemical used in making plastics.  

Malaysia has banned imports of milk products from China with immediate effect, although the country's health minister said that there were no imports of dairy items from China, reported Reuters.

Malaysia’s state news agency Bernama reported late on Friday that Malaysia's Health Ministry had imposed an import ban on all infant formulas, milk and milk products from China.

Singapore, Malaysia's neighbour, banned dairy imports on Friday after tests there found melamine contamination in two brands of China-made milk products.

In Myanmar, authorities plan to seize and destroy imported Chinese baby formula to safeguard against poisoning by the toxic chemical melamine, AFP quoted a senior health ministry official as saying Saturday.

Chinese products are widely used in military-ruled Myanmar, which is under trade embargoes from numerous Western countries demanding democratic reform.

In China, over 6,000 children have become ill, with four dead and 158 suffering "acute kidney failure" after consuming milk powder tainted with melamine, a banned chemical used in making plastics.

China said this week that milk powder contaminated with melamine, which is used in plastics, had made at least 6,200 babies ill nationwide and killed four over a period of many months.

Stores in mainland China and Hong Kong this week pulled hundreds of products from their shelves as the full extent of the contamination began to emerge, and Singapore and Malaysia suspended imports of Chinese milk and milk products.

Yili, Mengniu and Guangming - big brands consumed and trusted by hundreds of millions of Chinese - were affected by the recall after authorities checked their products and found traces of melamine.

Melamine added to milk and other food products gives the appearance of higher protein levels.

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