Posted by: mel | March 8, 2009

Melamine-Tainted Milk Products in Indonesia

 

JAKARTA, Indonesia – An Indonesian consumer group said Thursday 10 imported dairy products, candies and biscuits have tested positive for the industrial chemical melamine.

The independent Indonesian Consumer Foundation said the products taken from supermarket shelves in the capital, Jakarta, contained unacceptable levels of the chemical — illegally used as a food additive to artificially boost protein levels.

Melamine-tainted Chinese dairy products have been blamed for the deaths of least six babies and sickening of nearly 300,000 others in China.

Dozens of products have been pulled in Indonesia since the scandal broke in September, but no one is known to have fallen ill.

Tests conducted at an accredited laboratory with the University of Indonesia found melamine in Kino Bear Chocolate Crispy, Yake Assorted Candies, F&N Sweetened Dairy Cream, Dutch Mill yogurt drinks and other consumer food items, said Husna Zahir, the group’s director.

The products were imported from Thailand, New Zealand and China, the group said in a statement.

At the same time, the foundation cleared 18 other products the government’s Food and Drug Monitoring Agency said in September were tainted.

The government body said repeated testing had found high levels of melamine in dozens of products, including Oreo wafers and Smarties chocolate candies imported from China.

But the foundation said Thursday its tests were negative for those products made by Nestle SA and Kraft Foods Inc.

PT Kinosentra Industrindo, which makes Kino Bear Chrispi Chocolate, said testing it commissioned by an independent laboratory found “the product to be free of melamine,” said Hidayat, a spokesman who goes by a single name.

A representative at Nestle in Jakarta could not immediately be reached for comment.

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