Milk tested for melamine same as school brand

Friday, September 19, 2008
Issue 471, Page 1
Word count: 363
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

After the education department of Macau announced suspension of supplies of cartoned milk to local schools this academic year, the Centre for Food Safety in Hong Kong yesterday found a significant amount of melamine in a milk sample of the same brand.

The Education and Youth Affairs Bureau (DSEJ) on Wednesday decided to withhold the free milk program which was to begin next Monday and subscribed by more than 12,000 students from about 60 local kindergartens and primary schools.

The move was a preventative measure of the DSEJ after ice pops of the same Chinese brand of Yili found evidence of industrial chemical melamine in HK earlier this week. According to the Macau Daily Times’ report yesterday, the DSEJ told the MDTimes they had been supplying cartons of high calcium low fat Yili milk to schools since the 2007/2008 academic year.

That meant students subscribed to the program were given 160ml or 250ml of Yili milk every school day over the past year.

The testing of 30 dairy samples conducted by the Centre for Food Safety in Hong Kong yesterday showed that eight dairy products of the same brand contained the chemical varying from 2.2 to 21 parts per million (ppm).

Of which, the sample extracted from the one litre high calcium low fat milk contained melamine of 9.9 ppm.

According to the US Food and Drug Administration’s standards, children under the age of two and weighing 10 kilograms who consume two glasses of such milk per day will have their allowable intake of melamine exceeded which could harm their health in the long term.

Health inspectors were sent to supermarkets and other groceries outlets in Macau yesterday to suspend sales of eight Yili dairy products.

When speaking with the DSEJ yesterday to confirm if the milk which was supplied to students might have contained melamine, the MDTimes only got an email response saying a joint press statement made by the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau, Economic Services of Macau and the Health Bureau would be released later in the night.

However, the according statement failed to clarify the question but said that respective action will be taken according to the laboratory results.

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