France bans tainted Chinese candies

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The French agriculture ministry orders “White Rabbit” and “Koala” sweets off the shelves after finding they contain high levels of melamine.

10 October 2008
PARIS -- French authourities found Chinese sweets made with milk tainted by the industrial chemical at the centre of a massive international health scare, the agriculture ministry said Friday.
The ministry ordered an end to sales of "White Rabbit" sweets and "Koala" biscuits in France, and warned consumers to destroy or return them as they were found to contain the toxic chemical melamine.
In China, four babies died of kidney failure and at least 53,000 children fell sick after consuming products tainted with melamine, which fraudulent dairy companies use to increase nitrogen levels in watered-down milk.
"The first results of tests conducted in France have shown a melamine level above the warning level set by the European Commission at 2.5 milligrammes per kilo", the statement said.
As of yet, no health problems were detected in France as a result of the contamination, it added, ordering that the products be taken immediately off the market and advising consumers not to order more from the Internet.
After first being detected in milk powder made by China's Sanlu Group, more than 20 Chinese companies were found to have contaminated products, including industry giants such as Mengniu, Yili and Bright Dairy.
Melamine was since been detected around the world, in dairy ice cream, milk drinks, biscuits, sweets, milk tea, flavoured peanuts and chocolate bars, and several countries banned dairy imports from China.

[AFP / Expatica]

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