December 8, 2011
China has suspended imports of milk powder from Japan since last year, the country's quality watchdog said Wednesday (Dec 7) after radioactive cesium was found in baby formula produced by a major Japanese food company.
The import ban, which was imposed in April last year after the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in cattle in Japan and extended due to radiation leaks from crippled nuclear power plants caused by the March earthquake, remains in place, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) said in a statement.
The remarks were intended to allay concerns of Chinese customers after the Japanese firm Meiji Co announced Tuesday radioactive cesium of up to 30.8 becquerels per kg had been found in infant formula produced and sold by the company.
Meiji's Chinese unit said infant formula sold in China does not pose a safety risk as it has been produced in Australia.
The firm's milk powder products made in Australia must be inspected before entering China's market and carry labels showing the place of production, said the AQSIQ.