(Associated Press –
By GILLIAN WONG
An industrial chemical that made its way into China's dairy supplies and that authorities blame in the death of four babies has turned up in numerous Chinese-made exports abroad _ from candies to yogurt to rice balls.
British supermarket chain Tesco removed Chinese-made White
Rabbit Creamy Candies off its shelves as a precaution amid reports that samples
of the milk candy in
The subsidiary, Guan Sheng Yuan,
has been making White Rabbit candies for almost 50 years, with exports to
A man who answered the phone at the company said Bright Food Group is having a meeting to discuss what to do next after reports the candy had tested positive for melamine. He did not give his name, saying the company has yet to appoint a spokesman.
Chinese baby formula tainted with the chemical has been
blamed for the deaths of four infants and the illnesses of 53,000 others in
More than a dozen countries have banned or recalled Chinese
dairy products. One of the latest was
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said White Rabbit
candy has been added to its list of products being inspected at ports of entry,
but that no melamine-tainted goods from
A woman who answered the phone at AsianFoodGrocer.com in
"This product contains sufficiently high levels of melamine which may, in some individuals, cause health problems such as kidney stones," deputy chief executive of the authority, Sandra Daly, said in a statement.
"We are looking at a wide range of products ... primarily baby formulas as they pose the highest risk, and now we're moving through all the other .... products that may contain adulterated milk," he told National Radio.
Australian food regulators issued a statement late Wednesday announcing they had formally requested that wholesalers and importers voluntarily withdraw White Rabbit Creamy Candies pending further testing.
In China's tropical Hainan island some supermarkets in the capital Haikou have pulled White Rabbit candies from the shelves, according to a report on the Web site of People's Daily Thursday.
It is not clear if
Melamine has been found in infant formula and other milk products from 22 Chinese dairy companies. Suppliers trying to cut costs are believed to have added it to watered-down milk because its high nitrogen content masks the resulting protein deficiency.
Singapore's Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority, known as AVA, recalled White Rabbit candies earlier this week and said Wednesday that more Chinese-made food had tested positive for melamine, including Dutch Lady-brand banana and honeydew flavored milk, Silang-brand potato crackers and two kinds of puffed rice balls. The crackers and rice balls listed milk as ingredients.
"We want to make sure that our products and our food will not only meet the domestic and international standards, but also meet the specific requirements of the import countries," Wen said at an event organized by American organizations.
Also Wednesday, a Chinese official issued a public apology
to consumers in
"I condemn the mainland manufacturers that have produced fake milk and dairy creamer," Ma Ying-jeou said.
Authorities there ordered 160 products containing Chinese milk and vegetable-based proteins off store shelves, saying the goods had to be tested before they can go back on sale.
"We feel extremely painful about the damage that the
milk powder brought to people in
"The melamine situation just underscores the message that we are trying to deliver, and that is 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 Products Safety Commission.
The Chinese government has been scrambling to show it is tackling the problem. In recent days, the government announced high-profile arrests and forced resignations of officials.
The dairy at the center of the scandal, Sanlu
Group Co., will not be able to recover from the damage it has suffered to its
The Chinese government has taken control of Sanlu, which is 43 percent owned by
"Sanlu has been damaged very badly by this tragedy," Ferrier told reporters as he announced Fonterra's annual results. "The brand cannot be reconstructed."
There was no immediate response Wednesday from Sanlu. Several calls during the day were answered by temporary workers in the company's media department who took down questions but said it was up to senior company officials to decide whether to reply. The workers refused to give their names, which is common among Chinese employees. 9-25-08
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