‘Business Weekly’ sorry for triggering milk scare

Staff writer, with CNA

Fri, Nov 29, 2013 - Page 3

The Chinese-language Business Weekly on Wednesday apologized for sparking a food safety scare with a Nov. 20 report that claimed several popular milk products contained banned drugs. The allegations have been discounted.

“Pursuing truth is the mission of the media, and our report could have been more comprehensive. For that, we are deeply sorry,” the magazine, one of nation’s largest in terms of circulation, said in a statement.

“We will continue humbly taking note of suggestions from all sectors and upholding the position of the media while pushing for food safety so that our children can have a safer future,” it said.

Earlier in the day, Business Weekly submitted documentation about its report to the Food and Drug Administration. The agency said on Sunday that there was insufficient evidence to support the magazine’s claims.

The story said tests commissioned by the magazine found nine dairy products contained residue of antidepressants, contraceptives, plasticizers and banned veterinary drugs.

The Council of Agriculture tested 23 items, including the eight products named by the magazine, but found no traces of painkillers or any of the 86 antibiotics tested for, while only safe levels of plasticizer residue were found.

Local dairy farmers have threatened to sue the magazine over the story.