Cause of the melamine
|✅ Paper Type: Free Essay||✅ Subject: Environmental Studies|
|✅ Wordcount: 1815 words||✅ Published: 1st Jan 2015|
What is the cause of the melamine incident which triggered many countries?
The melamine incident was initially centred on Sanlu, a Hebei-based dairy company, whose melamine-contaminated baby milk powder had sickened a growing number of infants. Nationwide inspections later found that milk powder from 21 dairy companies including Mengniu and Yili are also contaminated.
Two giant processing companies — Mengniu Dairy Group Co. and Yili Industrial Group Co. — control nearly 60 percent of the total market for milk, yogurt and other dairy products, according to Beijing Orient Agribusiness Consultant Co. But in the past three years, prices for feed, fuel and other costs rose — feed by as much as 30 percent. Further pressures came last year when Beijing enacted price controls to tame double-digit inflation for food.
Milk collectors found themselves squeezed between the farmers asking for more money and the processors who demanded that prices be held down, said Chen Lianfang of Orient Agribusiness.
That squeeze gave suppliers incentives to tamper with the raw milk, watering it down and then adding ingredients, said Chen.
Melamine, a relatively cheap binding agent used in plastics, fertilizer, and as a flame retardant, is rich in nitrogen, fooling widely used tests that check for protein. When mixed with formaldehyde, it dissolves in water. – Authorities say middlemen apparently added melamine to milk they collected from farmers to sell to large dairy companies. The suppliers are accused of watering down the milk and then adding the nitrogen-rich chemical to make the milk seem higher in protein when tested. Protein tests often simply measure nitrogen levels. Melamine can cause kidney stones and lead to kidney failure in larger doses.
Babies whom consumed the contaminated milk began suffering from kidney problems caused by the melamine and doctors were blaming the powdered milk.
The scandal first came to light in milk powder that killed four infants and sickened more than six thousand others across China spread to liquid milk.
Many countries like Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Taiwan, and Malaysia have already banned all milk products from China while a number of countries have announced recalls of a variety of goods suspected of being spiked.
Singapore banned the import and sale of all Chinese milk products after some were removed from stores in Hong Kong.
In late October 2008, CHINA’S Health Ministry said six babies may have died after consuming tainted milk powder, up from a previous official toll of three. It also announced a sixfold increase in its tally of infants sickened in the scandal to nearly 300,000.
Why China and Malaysia milk products are the only ones being banned?
They found out that the diary products contained melamine too.
SINGAPORE: The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) has instructed importers and retailers to withdraw all Malaysia-made Julie’s brand biscuits from the shelves.
This comes after AVA detected the industrial chemical melamine in 12 Julie’s biscuit products imported from Malaysia.
AVA says there are 25 types of Julie’s biscuits sold in Singapore, but as a precaution, it decides to recall all Julie’s biscuits.
AVA advises consumers who have bought affected biscuits not to eat them.
AVA’s tests also included various types of biscuits under the major brands of “Khong Guan” and “Meiji” as well as other traditional biscuits that are manufactured in Singapore. Melamine has not been detected in these products.
AVA says “Lotte Koala’s March Cocoa Chocolate Biscuit” and “Hello Kitty Strawberry Cream Filled Biscuit” have been recalled since 19 September.
The tainted products will be destroyed under AVA’s supervision.
As of 24 October, 3,200 types of milk and milk products, chocolates, biscuits, non-dairy creamers and other products imported from more than 40 countries have been taken for laboratory analysis to check for melamine.
Along with five other biscuit products from Malaysia, the 12 affected Julie’s products form the first batch of non-China goods found tainted with melamine in Singapore since the worldwide food scandal started last month.
The AVA said that the contamination in the Malaysian biscuits seems to have stemmed from tainted ammonium bicarbonate, which is used as a raising agent in confectionery.
Since the AVA’s latest announcement, manufacturers and importers have been scrambling to check whether their products contain leavening agents from China.
Singapore’s AVA suspended the import of all milk and milk products from China and instructed retailers and importers to recall such products.
Three products were found to contain melamine – “White Rabbit Creamy Candy”, “Yili Brand Choice Dairy Fruit Bar Yogurt” and “Dutch Lady” strawberry-flavoured milk.
Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) has suspended the import and sale of all milk and milk products from China with immediate effect as samples of Singapore stocks of two made-in-China milk products have been found to be tainted with the potentially deadly chemical melamine.
SINGAPORE – Singapore on Friday suspended the import and sale of all milk and milk products from China after local tests found samples containing the potentially deadly industrial chemical melamine.
The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) said in a statement that its tests found melamine in two samples of Yili brand iced yoghurt.
They also found the chemical in the Dutch Lady brand of strawberry flavoured milk manufactured in China, AVA said.
Those products have been removed from market shelves and will be destroyed, the agency said.
In the aftermath of China’s milk contamination, the Agri—Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA), Singapore’s processed and primary food inspectorate, recently discovered that “White Rabbit Creamy Candy,” again manufactured in China, also contains melamine.
White Rabbit is the third dairy confectionary from China which showed melamine content in AVA’s laboratory tests. “Yili Brand,” a fruit bar yogurt and “Dutch Lady,” a strawberry-flavored milk have been earlier taken out of stores after they have been found to contain melamine.
During this melamine incident, what actions did AVA (Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority) took, to prevent and minimize cases from happening in Singapore?
“As a precautionary measure, AVA is also suspending the import and sale of all milk and milk products from China with immediate effect,” it said.
“Retailers and importers have been instructed to recall these products and these products will be withheld from sale until they have cleared the necessary tests.”
AVA said local food manufacturers have also been instructed to stop using milk and milk products from China as ingredients until the agency completes its probe.
“Consumers are also advised not to consume any milk and milk products from China pending AVA’s investigations,” it said.
The AVA confirmed it would allow the import of Julie’s biscuits once it is sure they are safe.
Singapore’s AVA said it advised consumers on Wednesday about a recall of the Yili yoghurt product after tests in Hong Kong found it contaminated with the chemical, which can be lethal if consumed in large amounts.
Because melamine is an industry chemical not approved for use in food manufacture. The amount of melamine found in the ten products above is higher than what can be considered as naturally occurring. It is clear that melamine has been artificially added to adulterate these products.
As melamine contamination was already uncovered in several products, AVA has suspended the import and sale of all milk and milk products from China since 19 September 2008. Retailers and importers have been instructed to recall these products and these products will be withheld from sale until such products are safe for consumption. Anyone finding such products still on sale should inform AVA immediately.
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There have been recent advertisements by some food companies assuring consumers on the safety of their milk or milk products manufactured in China, claiming that the milk ingredients in such products came from other countries. Companies should not make such claims unless they have been verified with AVA. AVA would like to reiterate that as long as the milk or milk products are produced in China, such products are suspended from import
and sale in Singapore. AVA will not hesitate to take enforcement actions against any company who violates this ban.
Local food manufacturers have also been instructed to cease the use of milk and milk products from China as ingredients. Consignments which have newly arrived or are on the way will also be withheld from sale.
If the consumers have already bought the contaminated products or any other milk or milk products from China, they are advised not to consume them.
Consumers should read the labels of the products to check the country of origin. If the milk or milk products are from China, consumers should not consume them.
It has become apparent in recent days that people in China have been deliberately watering down the milk to cut costs, then adding in the melamine to boost the protein content and make the product look normal.
Singapore is an island nation which imports virtually all its food.
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