September 24, 2008
The Vietnamese government has instructed its market and health inspectors nationwide to step up testings on milk after preliminary tests found melamine in imported dairy products.
Vietnam has not found anyone sickened by Chinese milk products, but health officials warned that the products may have been sold in remote areas in the poor central region.
The Health Ministry issued an alert to provincial health authorities, urging them to withdraw milk without proper labelling or of unclear origin and to take samples for melamine testing, according to the Ho Chi Minh City Laws newspapers.
The alert was sent after inspectors in Ho Chi Minh City seized more than 16,700 litres of milk produced by Yili Industrial Group, one of the many Chinese dairy companies whose products were found to contain melamine.
An executive at the Vietnamese company that imports Yili milk said the seized products were found to contain low levels of melamine.
China has promised to stop the toxic milk from reaching the export markets.
It is unknown how this milk scandal will impact Vietnam, whose milk industry is embattled with high feed costs and low retail milk prices, forcing many milk farmers to bankruptcy in Ho Chi Minh City despite the booming global dairy industry.