China vows better food safety after baby milk scandal
China: China vowed Sunday to improve its food safety supervision
after confirming 432 babies suffered kidney stones and at least one died
after drinking contaminated milk powder.
An efficient system should be set up to combine efforts of various
ministries and bring food safety supervision “to a new level,” Xinhua
news agency reported, citing Health Minister Gao Qiang. Gao said
Saturday that kidney stones had been found in 432 babies nationwide
since China was rattled by its most recent product safety scandal.
The number was sharply up from figures reported earlier which put the
number of affected babies at about 150, with one dead. Kidney stones are
rare in babies and can block their urinary tracts.
The figure was likely to rise further with the Beijing Evening News
reporting Sunday that six more babies had been admitted to hospital with
The State Administration of Industry and Commerce, an agency in
charge of enforcing discipline in the marketplace, issued a strongly
worded statement calling for thorough inspections of sales outlets for
baby milk powder.
“We require further strengthening of supervision and management of
the market for baby milk powder,” the administration said in the
statement, posted on the Chinese government’s website www.gov.cn.
“We will strike hard against the illegal practice of selling fake
milk powder,” it said.
Shops across China, including global retailing giants Wal-Mart and
Carrefour, pulled the milk powder from their shelves Friday after Sanlu
Group, the company at the heart of the case, issued a nationwide recall.
Beijing, Sunday, AFP