China Vows Safe Food Action; Lipton Recalls Milk-Tea; Taiwan Asks for an Apology

President Hu Jintao made a public show of resolve on Tuesday by lecturing a dairy industry executive. Meanwhile, global consumer goods group Unilever recalled four batches of Lipton milk-tea in Hong Kong and Macau after they were found to contain melamine.

Hu’s comments from Reuters:

“Food safety is a matter of the health of the people,” Hu told the head of a local dairy company in the eastern province of Anhui during a visit to a farm, shaking his finger.

“Of course, it’s also an issue of companies’ survival. You have to learn the lesson from Sanlu’s experience, and improve your management to ensure that all products that reach the market are up to the standards,” Hu said, referring to Sanlu Group, the Chinese dairy firm whose products have been blamed for many of the illnesses.

Unilever’s recall from Reuters:

Unilever Hong Kong Ltd said in a statement that it had decided to recall four batches of Lipton Milk Tea sold in the two markets after internal checks found traces of melamine, an industrial chemical.

The move was meant to comply with local regulations and as a precautionary measure, the firm said, adding that no other Lipton milk tea powder products were affected.

“As far as Unilever China is concerned, based on our stringent quality control processes and additional rigorous and systematic testing by local Chinese authorities, we are fully confident with the safety of our products in China,” Unilever said.

The Sydney Morning Herald has this report about Heinz.

In other news related to the tainted milk scandal, Taiwan’s premier Liu Chao-shiuan demanded an apology today from China for allowing contaminated milk to be exported to Taiwan. From The Taipei Times:

Liu vowed to help local businesses that have suffered losses because of the milk powder scandal seek compensation from the Chinese manufacturers through negotiation between the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) and China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS).

He said the government was still compiling information on the losses incurred by domestic businesses, but estimated the losses could add up to between NT$7 billion (US$217.6 million) and NT$8 billion if all of the products that have been pulled off shelves needed to be destroyed.

The government was still con-ducting a thorough investigation into the Chinese products that have been seized by the Department of Health to determine the extent of the Chinese manufacturers’ liability, Liu said.

Department of Health Minister Yeh Ching-chuan (葉金川) said at the question-and-answer session that about 1,000 bags of dairy ingredients seized by her depart-ment had been confirmed to have been contaminated by melamine.

September 30, 2008 7:53 PM
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