BEIJING, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) -- China's State Council issued a series of quality control regulations for dairy products on Thursday. The move was prompted by the country's contaminated milk scandal.
The regulations tighten control of how milk-yielding animals are bred, how raw milk is purchased and the production and sales of dairy food.
There will also be more severe punishment for people who violate safety standards and quality control departments that fail to fulfil duties.
Relevant officials will also be punished if dairy food safety incidents occur.
The regulations state that quality watchdogs will now be required to carry out regular inspections of dairy products. Law-breaking producers will be blacklisted and the information made public, while law-breaking government officials will also be punished.
Health authorities under the State Council will now be responsible for setting up national safety standards for dairy foods. Those standards will limit pathogenic animalcule, pesticideeresidue, veterinary drug residue and other hazardous substances in dairy products. There will also be new hygiene requirements for dairy producers along with standardized national quality testing methods.
"Any non-food chemicals or hazardous substances are prohibited from being added into raw milk in its production, purchase, storage, transport and sales," the State Council said.
Raw milk-purchasing stations will now need approval from local authorities to operate. The regulations state that stations should be run by dairy food producers, milk-yielding animal farms or milk farm cooperatives. Other organizations and individuals are banned from collecting raw milk
The new regulations go into effect Thursday.
Also this week, the Ministry of Health issued new limits on melamine levels in dairy products. A maximum 2.5 milligrams per kilogram was allowed for liquid milk, milk powder and food products containing at least 15 percent milk.
Contaminated baby formula has killed at least three infants in China and left more than 53,000, the majority below 3-year-old, with urinary tract problems, including kidney stones.
As of Wednesday, 36,144 infants have been discharged from hospitals after receiving medical treatment. And 10,666 infants are still being treated in hospitals, figures from the Ministry of Health showed.
So far, 36 people have been arrested over the scandal in Hebei, according to Xinhua's count.
The suspects were alleged to have produced, sold or added the chemical melamine into fresh milk to deceive protein tests.
China calls for "unbiased, scientific,
fair treatment" of dairy products
BEIJING, Oct. 9 (Xinhua) -- China's government has called
for "unbiased, scientific and fair treatment" of its dairy products abroad after
the scandal of the melamine contamination that left at least three infants dead
and thousands ill.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said China
"understands" the concerns of countries that have restricted imports of its
dairy products, but Chinese food safety watchdogs had strengthened supervision
of exported dairy products. Full story
China sets limit on melamine levels in
BEIJING, Oct. 8 (Xinhua) -- China's Health Ministry has
issued new safety standards for dairy foods following the scandal of
melamine-contaminated milk products that sickened thousands of babies.
The industrial chemical was intentionally added to
diluted milk to make it seem high in protein content. More than 50,000 babies
were sickened as a result of consuming contaminated milk powder.
At a press conference on Wednesday, Wang Xuening,
deputy director of the ministry's Health Supervision Bureau, released new rules
for the dairy industry. Full story