China's quality watchdog increases milk safety scrutiny on public concerns

15:51, February 18, 2011      

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The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) ordered its local branches Friday to increase scrutiny on fresh milk due to public concerns.

AQSIQ said in a statement posted on its website that it had maintained close attention to the quality of dairy products and increased food safety checks following the melamine scandal in 2008.

The administration had put melamine and leather hydrolyzed protein on the list of banned additives and must-checks in fresh milk since 2009.

The administration had punished a company in Zhejiang Province in March 2009 according to law after it found the company had added leather hydrolyzed protein to its dairy products.

The administration will further boost daily safety supervision of fresh milk, according to the statement.

Li Yuanping, the administration spokesperson, said anyone who has concerns about the quality of a food product should contact AQSIQ on the hotline number 12365.

In addition, China's Ministry of Agriculture said Thursday the quality and safety of fresh milk on the Chinese market was "generally safe" and that no leather hydrolyzed protein or other prohibited materials had been detected in its recent tests.

In 2008, melamine-tainted milk powder killed at least six infants and sickened 300,000 children across the country.

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