China to launch pre-New
Year food safety campaign
Sun Jan 11, 2009 10:42pm EST
Source of Article: http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSPEK73291
BEIJING, Jan 12 (Reuters) - 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
The Lunar New Year starts on Jan. 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 fertilisers, 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
It has also been detected in eggs, chocolates, ice creams, yoghurts and other
has suffered other food additive scandals in the past, including the use of
carcinogenic chemicals as food colourings.
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Nick Macfie)