News24

Firms sell melamine-tainted food

2010-01-25 09:44

Beijing - Three Chinese companies have been found selling food products tainted with melamine, the chemical blamed for the deaths of six babies in a huge dairy scandal in 2008, state media said on Monday.

The authorities in the southwestern province of Guizhou found that the products, said to include "popsicles", contained levels of the industrial chemical that were above allowable limits, the China Daily newspaper said.

One official quoted in the paper said the products may have contained tainted milk that was recalled after the scandal but had found its way back onto the market.

The paper said the food companies involved had blamed the problem on milk powder bought from suppliers.

In 2008, melamine was found to have been added to milk to give the appearance of a higher protein content.

It found its way into a range of products including baby formula, leading to the death of six infants and making almost 300 000 ill, according to official figures.

The scandal triggered an uproar in China and abroad, and many products containing Chinese dairy were taken off shelves around the world. A total of 21 people have been reportedly convicted and two have been executed.