China seizes 100 tons of melamine-laced milk powder

It is the latest case of food safety problems in China.

Updated: Aug 21, 2010, 15:34 PM IST

Beijing: China has seized more than 100 tons of melamine-contaminated milk powder in its northern provinces, state media reported late Friday, the latest case of food safety problems in the world`s most populous country.

A total of 103 tons of milk powder from four dairy brands in Hebei, Shanxi and Tianjin provinces were found to be laced with the industrial chemical melamine, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

Chinese police have arrested six people and detained 41 others for allegedly distributing milk contaminated with melamine.

Three of the six arrested on Friday were employees of the factory, an official said.

In July, samples of milk powder found in northwestern provinces Gansu and Qinghai had levels of the chemical melamine up to 500 times beyond the permitted limit.

More than 124 tons of the milk powder in Qinghai have been seized since then and six people have been arrested, Xinhua said.

In 2008, melamine in Chinese milk powder, which caused the deaths of at least six children and made nearly 300,000 children ill, sparked global and national outrage.

Melamine is an industrial chemical added to milk to fool inspectors by giving a misleadingly high protein level test reading.

Last Sunday, China`s Health Ministry said that it had found no evidence of contamination in milk powder after reports said it had caused baby girls to show signs of premature sexual development.

Bureau Report