China's Food Precaution against Melamine.
For months Chinese Melamine Products had caused an uproar throughout many countries that Mainland China exported its products to. The last count was 50,000 babies had fallen seriously ill and the newest update to that figure is still not known. The Melamine in the their milk products had even killed several thousand babies world wide. As a precaution, countries that imported milk products from China stopped it's trade as soon as investigation started. For a fact, not all Chinese made products that contain milk or dairy ingredients are being thoroughly tested.
By ANDREW JACOBSPublished: November 20, 2008
BEIJING — The Chinese government, struggling to contain the fallout from a scandal over contaminated milk and eggs, announced a wide range of food safety measures on Thursday aimed at reining in abuses in the dairy industry.
The State Council, China’s cabinet, issued several new rules it says will govern all aspects of the industry, from cow breeding and animal feed to the packaging and sales of milk.
Since September, when Chinese-made milk powder was found to be adulterated with the industrial chemical melamine, at least four infants who drank the formula have died and more than 50,000 children have fallen ill. On Thursday, China’s Health Ministry said that more than 1,000 infants were still hospitalized with kidney damage, Reuters reported. The scandal has led to recalls of milk products across the world, embarrassed the Chinese government and devastated domestic dairy farmers and milk producers.
“The crisis has put China’s diary industry in peril and exposed major problems existing in the quality control and supervision of the industry,” said an official with China’s National Development and Reform Commission, according to a posting on the agency’s Web site.
In announcing the new measures, the government said it would issue new laws and standards by next October, and that by 2011, “the goal is to have well-bred cows and a mass-producing dairy industry,” according to Xinhua, the official news agency. The government said it would also provide loans and grants to dairy farmers and milk producers struggling to survive the crisis.
This is not the first time regulators have pledged to clean up the nation’s fast-growing agriculture industry. A similar cry erupted early last year when it was discovered that melamine-tainted pet food ingredients from China had sickened thousands of cats and dogs in the United States. At that time, the government promptly banned melamine as an animal feed additive and declared the problem under control.
But earlier this month, the government revealed that scores of feed manufacturers and chemical suppliers were still selling the substance. Two weeks ago, the state media reported the discovery of 3,600 tons of tainted animal feed and the closure of 238 feed manufacturers still using the banned substance.
Melamine, employed in plastics and flame retardants, is high in nitrogen, which can register as protein in many tests. This has made it attractive to unscrupulous food processors trying to boost artificially the apparent quality of animal feed or watered-down milk.
In higher concentrations it can cause kidney stones or kidney failure.
Although the government has increased food inspections around the country, the impact on public perception has been mixed. Chinese consumers are still wary of domestic milk products. Also, last week, the United States Food and Drug Administration announced that any Chinese goods containing milk would be detained at the border until tests could prove they were free of melamine.
On Wednesday, the F.D.A. opened a bureau in Beijing, the first of three inspection sites planned for China. It was the F.D.A.’s first attempt to regulate American-bound food and medicines at the point of manufacture.