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EU Bans Baby Food Imports From China Containing Milk Products


The European Union has banned imports of baby food that contains Chinese milk and is considering restrictions on other Chinese food products with powdered milk, as a tainted milk scandal in China takes on international proportions. Lisa Bryant has more from Paris.

The European Commission said in a statement it would ban all products for children that contained milk from China - regardless of how small the quantity. The European Union's executive arm also said authorities would test products coming from China that had more than 15 percent of milk powder.

The announcement comes as controversy continues in China over infant milk formula tainted with the industrial chemical melamine that has killed four babies and sickened thousands of Chinese children.

In France, which currently holds the current EU presidency, the government is going further - removing all products containing milk products from China from the store shelves.

Monique Eliot, a senior official in the French agricultural ministry, told French radio the government was asking stores to check their stocks and shelves for Chinese products containing milk. The government will also have experts enforce the controls in supermarkets and stores specializing in Asian products.

She said the EU has not imported products like milk or powdered milk from China - but they could have come into the 27-member bloc illegally. As for other products containing milk - like biscuits or chocolate - she said it was difficult to say how much had been consumed across the EU in the past year.

Both the U.N. children's fund, UNICEF, and the World Health Organization have described the Chinese milk scandal as deplorable.

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