Monday, 29 September 2008 6:57 AM

Authorities Warn of Tainted Milk from China

The Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Health, Dr George Malefoasi and the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Commerce, Mr. Jeffrey Wickham has advised the public against the infant formula, Sanlu.

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services with WHO has alerted health authorities on the formula and milk-based sweets imported from China.

The Sanlu brand milk powder and White Rabbit Creamy Candies have been confirmed to contain an industrial chemical - Melamine.

Melamine is an ingredient for fertilizers and also used in plastic production.

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services, the Ministry of Commerce together with the Honiara City Council will be conducting inspections of food importers and shops in Honiara and Provincial towns.

Government authorities are appealing to importers, particularly those importing from China, to take all necessary steps in ensuring their imported products are free of this brand.

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services and the Ministry of Commerce encourages everyone to check labels on baby food products and sweets for such brand prior to purchasing.

The World Health Organization will continue to share information through its International Food Safety Authorities Network to help national authorities to remain informed and to assist in monitoring the situation.

The food authorities will ensure business houses comply with legal requirements to import food that are safe.

The poisoned milk scandal in China is becoming much bigger than anyone first imagined.

The health ministry in China has revealed that 13,000 children have had to go to hospital after drinking the milk. Overall, up to 53,000 children have become ill. Four have died.

The World Health Organization says the Chinese authorities have been acting appropriately, but the crisis is spreading beyond mainland China.