Scandal Hits Western Brands (Washington
By Maureen Fan
BEIJING -- China's
tainted-milk scandal, which has led to bans or recalls in 16 countries and
raised fresh concerns about the made-in-China label, spread Monday to big-name
Western brands as British candymaker Cadbury
announced a recall of its Chinese-made chocolate.
Cadbury said 11 types of chocolate bars made at its factory
in Beijing and sold in China, Taiwan,
Hong Kong and Australia
were being recalled as a precautionary measure. Tests "cast doubt on the
integrity of a range of our products manufactured in China," Cadbury said in a
Kraft Foods and Mars also said they would suspend sales of Chinese-made Oreo
cookies, M&Ms and Snickers bars in that country. The sweets were among a
dozen allegedly tainted products that tested positive for high levels of
melamine last week, according to Indonesia's Food and Drug
All three companies said none of their products were being
recalled or suspended in the United
Both American food companies said they were mystified by the
Indonesian test results, which reportedly found high levels of melamine -- the
toxin that has been at the center of a widening scandal that has left four
infants dead, sickened more than 54,000 babies and ensnared 22 Chinese dairy
Kraft said none of its Oreo products worldwide, including
those sold in Indonesia, are
made with milk ingredients from China.
The Oreo wafer product that tested positive in Indonesia
tested negative in Malaysia,
Thailand and Korea, a
company spokesman said.
Mars said its two Chinese suppliers of milk power were not
among the 22 tainted Chinese companies. Mars's milk powder tested negative for
melamine at a lab in Germany,
and its candy tested negative in Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia,
Taiwan and Thailand, a
companies have asked for clarification and additional testing from BPOM, the
food safety agency in Indonesia.
Meanwhile, police in Hebei province arrested 22 people
in an underground melamine-distribution network, the state-run New China News
Agency said Monday. Hundreds of police conducted raids on pastures, breeding
farms and milk-purchasing stations in the provincial capital of Shijiazhuang, seizing more
than 480 pounds of melamine.
is home to Sanlu Dairy Co., the 50-year-old company
that health officials say covered up the problem when complaints first started
coming in from parents of sick children last December. Local doctors also issued
warnings that went unheeded until a journalist posted Sanlu's
name online at a Chinese social portal Sept. 11.
Since then, Chinese authorities have fired several municipal
and provincial officials and forced the resignation of the head of its General
Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, who, during
last year's food and product safety scandal, said that foreign companies needed
to do a better job of testing products made in China.
has apologized for the tainted-milk scandal, but he has also insisted that China does not
"cover up." 9-30-08