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Authorities bust HCMC firm for low quality milk   2008-09-22 - ThanhNien

 
   
Southern police and Ho Chi Minh City market management recently uncovered a local food company that produces low quality milk products distributed widely in the central and southern regions.

 

 

Authorities have seized thousands of milk tins produced by Asian Food Company (AC Food) in District 12, as well as several machines used to manufacture and package the products.

Tests by the city’s Institute of Hygiene and Public Health show the real nutritional ingredients in AC Food milk are not in accordance with the numbers stated by the company on the packages.

For example, a tin of fat milk says it has 74.8 micrograms of vitamin B1 but tests found only 26 micrograms (one microgram equals one millionth of a gram).

The tin also advertises 120 milligrams of vitamin C, but tests didn’t find any.

The company also lies about its products’ origin and quality standards.

While all AC Food packages boast milk ingredients imported from Australia, test results revealed only 7.33 percent of the products had Australian ingredients while most of the milk is made from raw materials from China, South Korea and Thailand.

The tins even print the Ministry of Health’s certification codes but the ministry rejects having certified AC Food’s production standards. Nguyen Xuan Khiem, 38, AC Food’s director, told police officers that he copied the milk production labels of Golden Food Company, where he had worked up until this May.

He bought Golden Food’s milk products and hired Dan Cuong Company, based in District 12, to create a formula to mix many kinds of milk to produce AC Food milk.

After securing the formula, Khiem spent VND27 million (US$1,600) designing AC Food tin and logo and another VND17 million ($1,000) to buy machines for production and packages.

Before the inspection tests were carried out, 52,000 AC Food milk tins had been sold widely in 18 cities and provinces.

A tin is priced at VND63,000 ($3.77) while the cost of production and raw materials totals around VND40,000 ($2.40) per can, according to a police officer.

Milk inspections were launched nationwide last Monday after several babies died and thousands of others got sick after drinking China’s Sanlu milk tainted with melamine.

In related news, one of the local companies being subjected to the melamine test is Kim An Company in Phu Nhuan District.

Kim An has imported 18 tons of milk worth VND400 million ($24,000) from Inner Mongolia’s Yili Industrial Group, one of China’s three companies discovered with too much melamine in their milk products, Kim An’s Director Phan Thi Tuy Van told Thanh Nien yesterday.

The company has sold more than 300 liters of its milk products since early September, of which 100 liters have yet to be recalled since the scandal broke news. At present, Kim An has promised to halt retailing its milk in stores.

Hanoi milk inspection continues

Tran Quang Trung, the Ministry of Health’s chief inspector, said yesterday milk samples collected in Hanoi from recent inspections are being kept at the Food Safety and Hygiene Management Office for tests, and the results will be announced this week.

Nguyen Cong Khan, head of the office under the ministry, also revealed yesterday examinations of the first 10 milk samples showed no presence of melamine.

Tests and investigations of milk products, especially Sanlu milk, are being carried out across the city’s districts, according to Hanoi’s Health Department. Khan said the tests not only target melamine, but also aim to check the quality of imported milk and ice-cream products as well as those produced domestically.



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