October 29, 2008

UN requires China to report on alleged melamine contamination in feed


On Tuesday, a UN agency called for China to immediately disclose if melamine found in dairy products had been used in livestock feed and contaminated the wider food chain.


The recent discovery of melamine in mainland chicken eggs sold in Hong Kong has triggered worries that the chemical was present in a wide range of foods such as farm-raised meats and fish, according to a UN official.


Zhang Zhongjun, programme officer with the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation, said that China's agriculture ministry was investigating the possibility that melamine had been mixed into farming feed.


He added that they do not know the details of the investigation and want them to report to them the results of their findings immediately, and if the feed is found to be contaminated, then there is the possibility that pork, chicken, fish and beef could also be contaminated.


Zhang said that feed producers could have laced their products with melamine to falsely boost protein content, similar to the methods of milk producers in a scandal that has left China's dairy industry in shambles.

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