China Initiates Food Safety Crackdown on Melamine-Tainted Animal Feed
The Chinese government has reportedly deployed 369,000 inspectors in a nationwide crackdown on melamine-tainted animal feed. Regulators apparently destroyed more than 3,600 tons of animal feed and shuttered 239 feed operations after food safety tests revealed that eggs in three provinces contained high levels of the industrial plasticizer, which some unscrupulous manufacturers use as an artificial filler in animal feed. In September, melamine-laced infant formula also sickened more than 50,000 infants, prompting an international recall and widespread concerns about Chinese food exports. Nestle SA has since sent 20 research specialists to its Beijing center to strengthen food testing protocols for melamine and other chemicals. “It is illegal for any individual or any enterprise to add melamine into feed, and we will crack down uncompromisingly on melamine,” said Wang Zhicai, director of the animal husbandry and livestock bureau at the Agriculture Ministry. See Bloomberg.com, October 31, 2008; The New York Times, November 1 and 3, 2008.