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Health Ministry calls for calm over tainted milk scare   2008-10-08 - Thanh Nien

Health Ministry calls for calm over tainted milk scare
HCMC authorities seized a large amount of melamine-tainted milk products for destruction Tuesday.  
The Vietnamese Health Ministry Tuesday called for consumers to continue buying milk, issuing an assurance it had withdrawn most of the melamine-tainted dairy products circulating in Vietnam.



In a joint statement with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the ministry advised consumers not to panic about the tainted milk scandal, which originated in China and spread to countries that imported its milk products.

The majority of dairy products available in Vietnam are melamine-free, the agencies said in the statement.

Slow milk sales have resulted in Vietnamese dairy farmers dumping tons of unwanted – but uncontaminated – milk.

The Health Ministry said consumers should not boycott dairy products as this could have adverse health impacts, especially for children.

Users should choose products that have been cleared as safe and that are properly labeled with the country of origin and manufacturer.

The agencies also advised mothers that breastfeeding their infants was the safest way to feed them.

As of Tuesday, some 400 samples of dairy products had been tested with 23 found to contain the industrial chemical melamine.

Authorities have ordered businesses to recall tainted products.

At a press conference in Hanoi Tuesday, Deputy Health Minister Cao Minh Quang said the ministry was considering whether to allow a certain amount of melamine in dairy products or ban all products with melamine.

But as there was no existing national regulation of melamine content in dairy products, the ministry was recalling all products containing the substance, Quang said.

He said results of melamine tests would be announced in the next two weeks.

Meanwhile in Ho Chi Minh City, the Health Department seized 3.6 tons of dairy raw materials and 1.6 tons of dairy products found to be contaminated with melamine.

The department has tested some 50 dairy samples, eight of which contained the chemical which, in China, has killed four babies and sickened 53,000 more.

Nguyen Thanh Tai, vice chairman of the city’s administration, instructed the Health Department to step up inspections of dairy products in the market.

He said importers of dairy raw materials and products should publicize the origins of their products to ease residents’ concerns.

According to Le Thi Hong Lien, deputy head of the municipal Education and Training Department, both parents and preschool managers are concerned the Health Ministry has not yet given any instruction concerning melamine.

She said municipal preschools used large amounts of dairy products supplied by various sources.

Department Deputy Head Le Truong Giang told local schools not to remove milk from their menus until the Health Ministry issued a complete list of safe products.


Kim An Company: Yili milk (1-liter and 250-mililiter tins), Yili original flavors (250-mililiter tin), Yili fresh milk.

A Chau Company: Non-dairy creamer.

Hanoimilk: Full cream milk powder grade A, Blue Cow – Full cream milk powder used for UHT milk, Hi-P Chocolate UHT milk, Whole Milk 1 powdered milk, Whole Milk 2 powdered milk, Hanoimilk sweetened yoghurt, Hanoimilk non-fat milk 2.

Thuc Pham Vang Company: Golden Food milk.

Mai Anh Company: Advanced Distribution powdered milk.

Dai Vinh Company: Khong Guan cookies from Indonesia and Malaysia, Khina Guan Aquare Puff cookies, Khong Guan Marie and Khian Guan Superior cookies.

Anco Company: Full Cream Milk Powder.

Minh Duong Company: Powdered milk, non-dairy creamer.

Importer unknown: Yili Pure Milk.

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