Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ban on China dairy products

Monday September 22, 2008 MYT 8:53:03 PM

Ban on China dairy products to include confectionary

PETALING JAYA: The Government has widened its ban on dairy products imported from China to include confectionary that contain milk, chocolate, chocolate milk, white chocolate and other foods that contain milk.

The decision was based on the latest information received from Singapore’s Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) which found melamine in the “White Rabbit Creamy Candy”, the Health Ministry said in a statement on Monday.

The ministry’s food quality and safety department director Noraini Mohd Othman said the widened ban would therefore include the “White Rabbit Creamy Candy” and flour-based confections like biscuits.

“The ministry will also seize such products in the local market,” she said.

Noraini said Malaysia already had an existing ban on any milk or milk powder from China, adding that although the country had imported dairy products from China, the milk was sourced from Australia and New Zealand.

“As a preventive measure, the ministry also imposed a Level 6 or automatic rejection on all imported baby milk powder, milk and dairy products via the Food Safety Information System.”

Noraini advised consumers to be aware of the types of items that have been banned and to dispose of any existing items that they may already have.

“Retailers are also advised to report to their nearest state health departments or offices if such products are in their premises,” she said, adding that importers and agents have to stop distributing such products and immediately contact her department.

Noraini said the ministry would also take samples from food all over the country to analyse it for the presence of melamine, adding that if it was detected, those involved in the distribution chain could be fined up to RM100,000 or jailed a maximum 10 years or both.

Consumers can contact the ministry at 03-8883-3503 for more information.

SOURCE:   http://thestar.com.my

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