China has recalled milk powder sold abroad, a diplomatic source said yesterday, as it continues its efforts to contain the scandal over tainted milk that has sickened thousands of children.
A briefing was held in Beijing on Tuesday for foreign diplomats from several countries, a diplomatic source and a Japanese official said.
“They said that Chinese authorities had recalled milk powder as a precautionary measure, knowing that every [Chinese dairy] product is in line with safety norms since September 14,” said the source, who refused to be named.
The source was unable to specify whether only milk powder was involved, or if other products such as sweets and biscuits that might contain milk powder were included.
A Japanese official, citing the same briefing, had earlier said the Chinese government had taken measures to halt its exports of dairy products.
“The point made there was that the Chinese government has handled the matter promptly and firmly and has taken measures to halt exports of dairy products, which will not be resumed until their safety is fully confirmed,” the official said on condition of anonymity.
Neither account could be confirmed as Chinese government offices were closed for a holiday.
Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming (陳德銘) became the latest top official to promise tighter controls as a result of the scandal but he acknowledged lax business ethics remained a problem.
“The government will improve quality inspection on dairy products,” Chen was quoted as saying by the China Daily. “But more importantly, the dairy enterprises must win consumers’ faith through honesty.”