Infant formula from China contaminated
The Canadian Food Inspectiona Agency (CFIA) issued a warning about baby formula imported from China. No baby formula from China is approved for import into this country, but the agency acknowledged that some might be found on the shelves of ethnic grocery stores.
BEIJING — Investigators believe dairy farmers added a dangerous chemical to milk that has been linked to kidney stones in infants and one death in China’s latest product safety disaster, state media said Friday.
U.S. authorities warned American consumers to avoid all Chinese infant formula. No such warning was issued in Canada, but the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said Friday it was “looking into the situation.”
The Chinese government vowed “serious punishment” after its biggest milk powder producer recalled more than 600 tonnes of baby formula. The official Xinhua News Agency said the powder was tainted with melamine, a chemical used in plastic.
The producer, Sanlu Group, knew about the contamination Aug. 6 but refrained from telling the public, said a company manager, Su Changsheng, quoted on the website of Caijing, a leading Chinese business magazine. Su said Sanlu kept silent because some grocers refused to return tainted powder, but the report did not say why that prevented a public warning.
Authorities are questioning 78 people suspected in the contamination, Xinhua said.
“The suspects added water to the milk they sold to Sanlu to make more money,” Xinhua said, citing deputy mayor Zhao Xinchao of Shijiazhuang, the city where Sanlu is based. “They also added melamine so that the diluted milk could still meet standards.”
A separate Xinhua report said investigators believed dairy farmers were to blame.
Su, the Sanlu manager, told Caijing the chemical might have been added to make the milk’s protein content appear higher. Melamine is nitrogen-rich, and standard tests for protein in bulk food ingredients measure levels of nitrogen.