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Food scandal

December 26, 2011

A batch of milk has been destroyed in China by one of the country's leading dairy producers after tests found it was contaminated by excessive levels of a carcinogenic toxin.

Chinese worker checks ingredients in milk products amid new safety concerns
China has stepped up food testingImage: AP

The batch had been produced in the southwestern province of Sichuan and was found to contain aflatoxin. The Mengniu Dairy Group has said the samples had been taken from milk not yet distributed to the public.

Aflatoxins can be found in milk if cows are fed moldy feed.

After a series of food scandals, the Chinese government has been taking steps to tighten safety.

A cow stands in a pasture
Mengniu says contamination would have been avoided if the cows had eaten fresh grassImage: AP

In 2008, milk tainted with melamine made ill 300,000 and caused the death of over five infants. The chemical had been added to diluted milk to feign higher protein levels.

Last Friday, a dairy farmer from the northwestern Gansu province received death sentence for lacing milk with nitrite, which killed three small children and made 36 sick. Another farmer was sentenced for life for the same offence.
Author: Sarah Berning (AFP, AP, Reuters)
Editor: Arun Chowdhury

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