This website uses cookies primarily for visitor analytics. Certain pages will ask you to fill in contact details to receive additional information. On these pages you have the option of having the site log your details for future visits. Indicating you want the site to remember your details will place a cookie on your device. To view our full cookie policy, please click here. You can also view it at any time by going to our Contact Us page.

Food watchdog clamps down on milk powder manufacturers

09 August 2013

In a clamp down on milk powder producers, China says it will ‘severely’ punish any companies found to have quality or safety problems.

Continue reading this article

Register now for free and access every article and to register for the print edition.

The announcement was made by the China Food and Drug Administration, following a contamination scare at the world’s biggest dairy exporter, New Zealand based Fonterra.

"A lack of responsibility, unclear policies and lax supervision led to recent safety issues over infant milk formula, and it is necessary to improve the quality and safety of milk powder to regain consumer confidence," the agency said in a statement.

Public trust was damaged by a 2008 scandal in China in which six infants died and thousands became ill after drinking milk tainted with the toxic industrial compound melamine.

Fonterra has recalled some batches of milk formula in China and elsewhere after the New Zealand co-operative said it had discovered whey protein products that contained a harmful bacteria.

The company's chief executive, Theo Spierings, flew to China at the weekend to apologise for the scare.

To help its monitoring, the Food and Drug Administration would set up a team of specialists to work with local supervisory bodies to make sure they met their responsibilities and eliminated risks at the earliest stages, the statement said. It added that a key task was to promote a better understanding of the need for quality and safety in milk powder production.

Milk powder producers have come under scrutiny in China in recent weeks for pricing as well as health issues. On Wednesday, China fined six milk powder producers a total of £70million for price fixing and anti-competitive behaviour. Fonterra was among those penalised, with a fine of £420,399, the least of the six.

Print this page | E-mail this page