Melamine found in Chinese imported products at unacceptably high levels - RePress


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Thursday, September 25

Melamine found in Chinese imported products at unacceptably high levels

Testing by the New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA) for the presence of melamine in a wide range of products containing a significant dairy content imported into New Zealand from China has shown contamination at unacceptably high levels in White Rabbit Creamy Candies. Results identified the presence of 180 ppm of melamine.

“This is a serious concern,” said Sandra Daly, NZFSA’s Deputy Chief Executive. “We have issued a Director General’s statement advising people not to eat these products as we cannot discount the likelihood of health risks resulting from the consumption of these sweets. The product appears to come from a number of manufacturers via a number of importers and we are advising against eating any of these products.”

“Parents of children who have eaten the sweets may well be deeply worried and we recommend they contact their medical practitioner if they have specific concerns. Our 0800 number can also provide advice on the products concerned.”

Investigations by the Ministry of Health over the past week have indicated no increase in the number of kidney problems in children in New Zealand this year.

While the science on the presence of melamine is evolving it appears from the current Chinese situation that infants are affected by the presence of fairly low levels of melamine, but that older children or adults are not as susceptible.

NZFSA is working with food importers to ensure they are confident the products they sell meet all New Zealand food safety standards and has asked New Zealand Customs to identify specific risk products from China as they come into the country so they can be sampled and tested if this is thought to be appropriate.

NZFSA will continue to test risk products, provide information as it comes to hand, and take any appropriate action.

”Melamine is not an uncommon finding at low levels in food and we expect we may find other products with low levels that are not a health concern,” said Ms Daly, “but the levels we have found in these products are unacceptable and do raise potential health concerns so we have taken the action we needed to.”

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