Vietnam widens milk inspection after melamine find

Tue Sep 23, 2008 3:51am EDT

HANOI, Sept 23 (Reuters) – Vietnam told its market and health inspectors nationwide to step up tests on milk after preliminary tests found the toxic industrial chemical melamine in imported dairy products.

Vietnam, a southern neighbour of China with 86.5 million people, has not found any child made ill by Chinese milk products, but health officials warned such products may have been sold in remote areas in the impoverished central region.

The Health Ministry sent an urgent notice to provincial health authorities around the country on Monday night, urging them to withdraw milk without proper labelling or of unclear origin and to take samples for melamine testing, the Ho Chi Minh City Laws newspaper said.

The alert was issued after inspectors in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s largest city, seized more than 16,700 litres of milk produced by the Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group (600887.SS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), said the newspaper, run by Ho Chi Minh City Justice Department.

An executive at the Vietnamese company that imports Yili milk was quoted as saying that preliminary tests of the seized products found low levels of melamine, which can cause kidney stones and other complications if ingested.

The Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group is among 22 Chinese companies listed by Chinese authorities as having melamine-contained milk products. The list was published widely by Vietnam’s state-run media on Tuesday.

China has promised to stop toxic milk from reaching processors and export markets after an infant powder scandal that has made more than 50,000 children sick and again tarnished the country’s trade reputation. [ID:nSP247794]. (Reporting by Ho Binh Minh; Editing by Valerie Lee)

Source: Reuters

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