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China Says New Milk 'Melamine-Free' Amid New Recalls


Chinese safety officials say the latest inspection of newly produced liquid milk has found no traces of contamination.

State-run news media quote officials Thursday as saying that tests showed no trace of the chemical melamine in samples of liquid milk recently produced by 65 major Chinese brands.

The announcement came after Taiwanese health officials ordered a worldwide recall of six types of Nestle milk products from Heilongjiang, a northern Chinese province, after tests showed they contained low doses of melamine. Nestle officials in Switzerland say their products from China are safe and urged Taiwan to introduce "science-based" standards.

The tainted milk scandal broke last month, after Chinese-based Sanlu Group acknowledged its baby formula products were laced with melamine. The tainted products have been blamed for the deaths of four infants and sickening at least 53,000 others.

The scandal has led to the arrests of 27 people in China, and the recall or prohibition of Chinese-made milk products by more than 50 nations.

Meanwhile, authorities in California and in the northeastern U.S. state of Connecticut said popular Chinese candy contaminated with melamine was found in several stores.

The industrial chemical is used in plastics, fertilizers and flame retardants. Authorities believe it was added to milk to make it appear richer in protein.

As China marked its national day Wednesday, President Hu Jintao said lessons must be learned from the scandal. During a tour of dairy companies in eastern China's Anhui province, he urged companies to strengthen management and food safety checks.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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