Sores on the
doors for food businesses
milk scandal spreads to eggs
High levels of the chemical in the China milk scandal have been discovered in Hong Kong in eggs from the mainland.
Moore in Shanghai
Last Updated: 4:54PM GMT 27 Oct 2008
Source of Article: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/3267344/Chinas-milk-scandal-spreads-to-eggs.html
The authorities on the island
said that the eggs contained twice the legal limit of melamine, an industrial
chemical which made over 50,000 infants ill and killed four when it was
discovered in powdered baby milk over the summer.
Melamine, which is more
commonly found in plastics, was added by unscrupulous traders to "bulk
up" milk and make it appear richer in protein.
However, the chemical triggers
the formation of kidney stones.
Authorities in Hong Kong said
they have contacted Beijing to ask for an
investigation after melamine was discovered in eggs from China's biggest producer, Hanwei,
a company in the northern town of Dalian.
Hanwei said it is investigating.
"We have contacted the
mainland's food safety agency and hope they can do more to reduce the risk at
the source," said York Chow, the island's health secretary.
A food safety inspector in Dalian said that eggs
tainted with melamine were detected last month and were destroyed, but that
tests this month showed no traces of the chemical.
Wen Jiabao, the
Chinese prime minister, promised last Saturday that China would do all it
could to bring its food quality standards up to international levels.
China has not updated the number of children
affected by melamine poisoning since the third week of September, and there
are indications that the official number may be far too low. Health officials
said on Sunday that one quarter, or 75,000, of the 300,000 families in Beijing with a child of
less than three had been affected.
Kong has started testing meat and vegetables coming from the
mainland. One theory is that the chickens may have eaten feed contaminated
with the chemical.
It has also emerged that cyromazine, a derivative of melamine, is widely used in
pesticides and animal feed. This could have been absorbed and pass upwards
through the food chain.
"As we have found melamine
in eggs, we shall also test chicken meat and we shall also look at offal, for
example chicken kidneys and pig kidneys," said Mr
Batches of baby milk produced
before melamine testing became standard have only recently been recalled from
Chinese supermarket shelves.
The Chinese media has also
sought to play down the possibility of toxic eggs. There were no reports of
two incidents in Japan and
when eggs laced with melamine were destroyed. South
Korea ditched 23 tonnes of
egg powder from China
on Oct 22 after discovering the chemical.
Han Wei, the founder of the
Dalian Hanwei company, is the vice-chairman of the
city's federation of Industry and Commerce and a notable party delegate.
In Japan, a major food producer
announced a recall of 2.7 million pizzas and packs of sausages after it
discovered three times the government limit of cyanide in its water supply.
Itoham Foods put advertisements in national newspapers apologising
for the contamination. Last Friday, the country's largest maker of instant
noodles, Nissin, recalled its Cup Noodle line after a woman was taken ill
with insecticide poisoning.