Saudi orders withdrawal of melamine milk
Riyadh, December 6, 2008
Saudi Arabia has ordered the withdrawal and destruction of Chinese milk products proved to be tainted with melamine, state news agency SPA reported on Friday.
Earlier this week, the Saudi Food and Drug Authority said harmful concentrations of the chemical had been found in milk powder made at a Nestle plant in China, but Nestle, the world's largest food group, rejected the report.
The Saudi authority also found melamine in a chocolate wafer cream made by Malaysia-based Apollo Food Industries in June.
Chinese milk tainted with melamine, an industrial compound used to make plastics and pesticides, has killed at least six babies and made nearly 300,000 ill. Melamine was added to watered-down milk because it mimics protein in quality tests.
SPA quoted the trade and commerce ministry as saying in a statement that all its branches should 'withdraw and destroy all the batches on display at markets and the quantities seized ...'
The ministry also urged local laboratories to step up controls on all food products made in China, because tests of samples 'have confirmed these products were tainted with the harmful melamine.' It did not name the products or makers.
Nestle said on Wednesday that all its dairy products were 'absolutely safe for consumption and that no Nestle product is made from milk adulterated with melamine'.
Chinese media first reported in September that babies had fallen ill after consuming melamine-tainted formula, rocking faith in Chinese-made products in many countries.
EU regulators banned imports of Chinese soy-based food products for infants and young children this week after melamine was found in Chinese soybean meal.-Reuters