The Associated Press
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
HANOI, Vietnam: Vietnam has imposed a total ban on melamine in food and will send back any imported products found to be tainted with the industrial chemical, state-controlled media reported Wednesday.
The Labor newspaper report came after Beijing ordered the emergency testing of all milk products more than a month old, in the largest blanket withdrawal from store shelves since infant formula laced with the industrial chemical killed four infants and sickened tens of thousands of children in China.
Melamine has been found in 23 Chinese milk products imported into Vietnam, and about 330 tons (300 metric tons) of milk products, mostly imported from China, have been recalled.
Foreign Ministry and Ministry of Industry and Trade officials will help Vietnamese importers to return the tainted products to their Chinese exporters, the Labor report quoted Deputy Health Minister Cao Minh Quang as saying.
The Health Ministry has also banned all products for human consumption that are contaminated with melamine, Quang said.
China on Tuesday ordered all milk products more than a month old pulled from store shelves for emergency testing. All milk powder and liquid milk produced before Sept. 14 must be tested, China’s official Xinhua News Agency reported, citing a notice jointly approved by six government ministries and administrations.
Melamine can cause kidney stones as the body tries to eliminate it and, in extreme cases, lead to life-threatening kidney failure. Infants are particularly susceptible.