[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific
Tainted milk powder seized in China
Authorities seize 26 tonnes of milk powder tainted with melamine, a toxic chemical linked to the deaths of six babies.
Last Modified: 27 Apr 2011 10:34
Melamine, a toxic chemical, is used to fool quality inspectors testing milk for protein levels [EPA]

Chinese police have seized around 26 tonnes of milk powder tainted with melamine, state media reported, three years after infant formula contaminated with the same chemical killed six babies.

The powder was purchased by an icecream maker in Chongqing, a southwestern city, for use in pastries and icecream.

However the product had been stored in a warehouse and had not yet been used, a report in the Global Times newspaper said on Wednesday.

Five suspects, including company managers at three firms, have been detained and three could face criminal charges, the paper said, but did not identify their suspected roles in the contamination.

The powder was said to have been produced in Inner Mongolia and sold to a third company in 2009.

Other seized batches have been described as old stocks that were hidden when they should have been destroyed.

China's food sector has been hit by food poisonings and toxin scandals, despite a number of government crackdowns.

In 2008, at least six children died and nearly 300,000 fell ill from powdered milk laced with melamine, an industrial chemical added to low quality or diluted milk to fool inspectors checking for protein levels.

Adding melamine and water to milk and milk products makes the products appear to have the correct protein content, but leads to health problems such as kidney stones and kidney damage.

A recent spate of new problems prompted the State Council, China's Cabinet, to last week order a renewed crackdown on the illegal foodadditives.

So far this year, authorities have uncovered sales of drug-tainted pork, bean sprouts treated with a carcinogenic chemical compound, and old bread treated with sweeteners and dye to make it seem fresh. 

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
Anti-government secrecy organisation struggling for relevance without Julian Assange at the helm.
After decades of overfishing, Japan is taking aim at increasing the number of bluefin tuna in the ocean.
Chinese scientists are designing a particle-smashing collider so massive it could encircle a city.
Critics say the government is going full-steam ahead on economic recovery at the expense of human rights.
Spirits are high in Scotland's 'Whisky Capital of the World' with one distillery thirsty for independence.