More Countries Ban Chinese Products Amid
(Wall Street Journal)
By LORETTA CHAO in Beijing
and SIMON LOUISSON in Wellington,
recent troubles with contaminated milk are prompting more skepticism in other
countries about its quality control, despite authorities' efforts to contain
A Chinese dairy factory worker monitors the production at a
plant in Wuhan, central China.
Countries stepped up testing of foods imported from China
after Chinese authorities disclosed that the industrial chemical melamine had
tainted products -- including liquid milk, yogurt and candy -- made by 22
companies. Baby formula contaminated by melamine has killed at least three
babies and sickened more than 50,000. Taiwan
have now joined the list of at least 12 regions that have banned Chinese-made
Zealand's Food Safety Authority warned the
public on Wednesday that "unacceptable" amounts of melamine were
found in a popular Chinese candy called "White Rabbit Creamy
Candies." British supermarket chain Tesco PLC said it recalled the candy
as a precautionary measure from its stores in the U.K.,
China and Malaysia.
and European consumer-safety officials said the crisis highlights the need for
better enforcement of public-safety standards at all stages of manufacturing.
"You have to know what's coming into your factory and what's going out of
your factory," said Nancy Nord, acting head of the U.S. Consumer Product
Ms. Nord and other U.S.
and European officials were in China
promoting compliance with product-safety regulations that were tightened
following a spate of scandals last year over unsafe or shoddy products, including
toys, tires, drugs and pet food.
The milk scandal also has proved damaging to New Zealand
dairy giant Fonterra Co-operative Group, which in 2005 bought 43% of
Shijiazhuang Sanlu Group Co., the first Chinese dairy
company to be implicated. Sanlu's products were laced
with the highest concentrations of melamine found to date, and authorities say
the company was responsible for a coverup lasting for
at least months that caused even more children to get sick.
Fonterra said Wednesday the scandal had affected its
financials. It booked a 139 million New Zealand dollar (US$95 million)
impairment charge against the carrying value of its investment in Sanlu. That left a residual value of NZ$62 million in Sanlu, mainly its physical plant. Still, Fonterra said it remained
committed to China.
A Philippine official inspects milk at a store in Manila. Chinese food
products in several countries are being removed from shelves over contamination
In an effort to assure the world its products are safe,
Chinese regulators said this week that the tainted-milk scandal has been
brought under control and milk samples tested since Sept. 15 showed no traces
of melamine. 9-25-08