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February 1, 2013

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No tainted NZ dairy goods in city

SHANGHAI officials have found no dairy products with the potentially harmful chemical residue that was detected in some New Zealand dairy products, the city's food safety watchdog said yesterday.

The watchdog has done on-site inspections at local dairy product manufacturing lines, especially for products for children, and all the products have been tested as safe, said Yan Zuqiang, director of the Shanghai Food Safety Office.

Yan said there are also strict inspection processes at Customs to prevent any problem dairy products from entering the country.

China's quality watchdog has urged the New Zealand authorities to present a detailed risk assessment report on dairy products after traces of dicyandiamide (DCD) were found in them.

The scandal raised concerns from local parents as some popular brands like MeadJohnson and Wyeth do not specify the origin of their raw material while Abbott has used powder imported from New Zealand to make baby formula, which the company says is safe.

Shanghai's market watchdog said it was paying close attention to the incident, but had not ordered local supermarkets and stores to take New Zealand dairy products or products with New Zealand dairy material off the shelves.

Meanwhile, the food safety office says it will ask more local food companies and supermarkets to set up inspection centers to test on their own food.

The inspection process would be monitored in real time by the watchdog, he said.

"The office will first encourage and help the companies set up labs for self-inspection, but may force all local food-related companies to have such inspection centers in future," Yan said.

Some supermarkets, including Carrefour and Metro, have set up such centers. The Tongchuan Road fish market and the snack-food chain store Laiyifen also have begun establishing labs. The watchdog will also invite third-party inspectors to further test the safety of the food and any problem would be reported.


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