Melamine Milk Scandal Spreads to Europe
New milk powder tests are underway in Europe as regulators concluded that even though Chinese milk imports are banned within the European Union, there may still be contamination within products in Europe that pose a risk to children.
The action, announced by the European Food Safety Agency and the European Commission, significantly expands the potential geographic reach of a milk adulteration scandal in China to now include a range of foods sold around the world. The Europeans said cookies, toffees and chocolates are the major concerns.
Tainted Chinese milk powder may have been used in foods processed outside of Europe, which the EU still imports. And it's not just milk that poses a threat; pastries, cake, biscuits, chocolate and other candies may contain high levels of melamine that could cause kidney stones. This expanding threat is not restricted to Europe either; many countries are taking precautionary steps because of this very reason.
In Brussels, the European Commission was trying to assess the extent of the risk. “The problem is with the composite food products, which can be imported, even if they contain milk powder from China,” said Nina Papadoulaki, a spokeswoman. She said that the commission did not know how many companies selling snacks in Europe were manufacturing in China or buying ingredients there.