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Hunan sets criteria for school dairy suppliers

(Global Times)

08:12, October 26, 2012

Authorities in Hunan Province have banned schools from providing students with dairy products they make themselves, and will follow strict criteria when selecting providers of dairy products, the Changsha-based Sanxiang City News reported.

A newly-revised regulation jointly issued by the provincial education, agricultural and quality supervision authorities said schools are not allowed to manufacture soy milk and other dairy products, nor can dairy products not approved by the national school milk program be given to students.

"Of course schools should be banned from making dairy products. It's what the companies do," said Wang Dingmian, chief of the Guangdong Dairy Association.

The notice aims to standardize the national school milk program initiated in 2000 by the central government.

The companies, which will be selected through a tendering process, will be responsible for delivering dairy products to school students that must be free of additives such as hormones, said the Hunan notice.

"There may be many problems during bidding process," said Wang, adding that the measure cannot fully ensure the school milk's safety.

"What matters is that officials strengthen supervision and the companies have a conscience," Wang said.

Dairy companies intending to bid on contracts to supply schools with dairy products have to apply at the national program office in Hunan, while those already certified are allowed to use a nationally unified label.

Earlier this year, 12 elementary school students in the province's Shimen county fell sick after drinking milk contaminated during delivery.

According to the notice, local dairy companies are preferred.
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