Chinese city kicks off probe into tainted drinks

13:58, November 22, 2010      

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Market regulators in Xiangfan of central China's Hubei province have started an "all-out search" for a batch of dairy products that is believed to contain melamine -- a toxic industrial chemical that killed at least six infants and sickened about 300,000 children across the country in 2008.

The administration for industry and commerce in Xiangfan issued an urgent notice on Nov. 15 asking all local businesses to look for 50 packages of a type of corn-flavor dairy beverage. It is unclear how many bags or boxes a package contains.

The notice said the beverage might have entered the local market, but as of early last week, local authorities could not find any trace of them.

Tests showed that the melamine level in the beverage measured as high as 4.8 milligram (mg) per kg, Monday's China Daily quoted the notice as saying.

A reading above 2.5 mg per kg for such a beverage suggests that melamine was added as an ingredient during production deliberately, according to a standard introduced in October 2008, a month after the melamine scandal broke out.

Melamine, if added in dairy products, can boost fake protein reading.

Chen Min, deputy head of the publicity department in Xiangtan city of Hubei's neighboring Hunan province, told China Daily that the beverage sought in Xiangfan was actually produced by a manufacturer based in Xiangtan.

Source: Xinhua


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