[enviro-vlc] Melamine discovered in animal feed
vern.weitzel at gmail.com
Fri Oct 31 23:36:05 EST 2008
Last Updated: Friday, October 31, 2008 11:07:57 Vietnam (GMT+07)
Melamine discovered in animal feed
A housewife chooses eggs at a market in Hanoi. Worries about melamine-tainted
eggs follow last month’s melamine milk scandal. Tests on 240 tons of fish meal
imported to Vietnam from China has found traces of the toxic industrial chemical
melamine but the exporter of the suspect goods is unknown, health authorities
The melamine-tainted fish meal, used to make animal feed, was imported in June
and July the Ho Chi Minh City’s Bureau of Quality Management and Fisheries
Resources Protection said.
The consignments, licensed by Chinese authorities, contained a melamine
concentration of 0.59 percent to 2.24 percent.
Vietnam has no regulations that set a safe level of melamine concentration.
The HCMC bureau said Thursday it had asked for instructions from the Ministry of
Agriculture and Rural Development on how to handle the melamine-tainted
products, which have been isolated pending further action.
It would be difficult to return the goods to China as the identity of two
Chinese exporting companies were unknown, the bureau admitted Thursday.
Earlier, the HCMC Department of Science and Technology discovered 80 out of 400
samples of animal feed materials were contaminated with melamine.
Further tests are underway, authorities said.
Melamine, used to make plastics, can appear to boost the protein content of food.
Vietnamese authorities on Wednesday began to test eggs for melamine after
melamine-tainted eggs were discovered in Hong Kong on October 26.
Eggs have been pulled off shelves in Hong Kong and China as fears grow that a
melamine-tainted milk scandal, which has left four babies dead and more than
53,000 others ill in China, has spread to other foods, AFP reported.
Overland trade under scrutiny
A task force from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will today
begin inspecting eggs on sale at markets in the northern province of Lang Son,
which borders China.
The task force will expand their investigation into other border provinces and
keep in close touch with local agencies to monitor the trade of any eggs brought
into Vietnam overland from China.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat has threatened tough
action against companies found using melamine-tainted materials to make animal feed.
Health experts have shrugged off fears that domestic eggs could be contaminated
with melamine. Only eggs of unclear origins or imported overland from China were
likely to be poisoned, the experts said.
They also said it was unlikely eggs could be directly tainted with melamine. The
melamine contamination could only occur when a chicken ate melamine-tainted feed.
Despite reassurances from health experts and companies, demand for eggs has
fallen by up to 30 percent since the scandal broke last weekend, the manager of
a Ho Chi Minh City supermarket said.
Egg distributors across the country are anxious to prove their products are safe.
Ba Huan Company in HCMC, which sells 50 percent of its eggs to the city’s
supermarkets, said its eggs could not be contaminated with melamine because the
whole process from farming to consumption was local and monitored very carefully.
A representative from CP Vietnam has also guaranteed the safety of its eggs,
promising to release the results of tests soon.
Truong Thi Kim Chau, deputy head of HCMC Animal Health Office, also said
consumers shouldn’t worry about buying eggs from well-known supermarkets and
In China, there are grave fears about food safety. It is expected to take a long
time to restore consumer confidence there, depending on how the government and
the food industry do their jobs, AFP reported.
United Nations health authorities say melamine may be used in other livestock
industries, meaning pork, beef and many other parts of China’s food chain could
be contaminated with the industrial chemical, according to AFP.
Reported by Thanh Nien staff
More information about the enviro-vlc