Dutch Lady Milk Industries Berhad, F&N Dairies (M) Sdn Bhd and Mars Malaysia have assured that their products in Malaysia are safe to consume and do not contain melamine.
Dutch Lady Milk Industries Berhad's managing director Hans Laarakker said within Dutch Lady Malaysia, there are no Dutch Lady products or dairy raw materials sourced from China.
Dutch Lady Malaysia manufactures and distributes milk products ranging from infant formula, growing up milk powder, UHT (ultra high temperature) milk, sterilised milk, pasteurised milk to yoghurt products.
Laarakker stressed that the company’s milk powder was mainly sourced from the Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand.
“Whatever is being distributed within Malaysia is manufactured within our factories in Petaling Jaya itself or mainly imported fully-packed from countries like the Netherlands and New Zealand.
“On this score, my message to all Malaysians is a strong assurance that Dutch Lady Malaysia’s products are safe and fit to consume,” he said Tuesday at a press conference here.
Laarakker also urged consumers to start reading labels on every food item for self-assurance and to check where the products originated from.
About the withdrawal of Dutch Lady’s strawberry flavoured milk in Singapore, Laarakker said it was an isolated case, where the strawberry flavoured sterillised milk in plastic bottle was tested and found to contain melamine, as it was produced in China.
He explained that the particular flavoured milk packed in plastic bottle was the only product from China and sold in Singapore for the past 20 years without a problem.
He however reassured that strawberry flavoured milk in boxes were safe to drink and 95% of Dutch Lady products in Singapore came from Malaysia.
“As a precaution, all sterilised products from this factory in China have since been withdrawn from the Singapore market.
“For similar reasons, all sterilised milk in plastic bottles from the same factory in China has also been withdrawn from the Hong Kong market even though their testing did not reveal any contamination,” he said.
Laarakker also said he was aware of all the e-mail and short message service (SMS) circulating among the public about contaminated milk, including Dutch Lady brand of sterilised milk, and he believed the messages started from Singapore.
He urged consumers to visit www.dutchlady.com.my or call 1-800-88-1191 for further clarification.
Meanwhile, F&N Dairies (M) Sdn Bhd has assured consumers that dairy ingredients in its products in Malaysia are safe for consumption and not sourced from China.
F&N Dairies general manager Edward Liew said all its dairy products are subjected to rigorous tests and hygiene standards at every stage of the food chain right from the receiving of dairy ingredients to storage, processing, manufacturing and delivery to customers.
“Comprehensive systems and regulations are in place in place to ensure their quality, safety and integrity,” he said.
F&N Dairies portfolio of dairy products include F&N sweetened condensed milk range, F&N evaporated milk range, Magnolia milk and ice-cream, Farmhouse, Daisy, F&N aLIVE, TeaPot Carnation, Ideal and Cap Junjung.
Mars Malaysia, the company that produces M&Ms, Snickers and Dove chocolates, has also assured customers that its products are safe for consumption.
Mars South-East Asia managing director Ahmed Amer said Mars does not source any milk powder or ingredients for any of its products from any company which has been found to be selling melamine-contaminated dairy products.
“Just last week, the Chinese food safety watchdog tested product samples of Mars China’s domestic powder suppliers and found them to be free of melamine.”
Ahmed said Mars had a close relationship with its suppliers in China and advised them on a regular basis on the quality of the products supplied to Mars.
“We are confident that none of our chocolate or confectionary products that are made in China include any dairy ingredients adulterated with melamine.”
In other developments:
MANILA: Officials say the Philippines has banned all milk imports from China as a precaution against the spread of contaminated baby formula that has killed four and sickened more than 53,000 Chinese infants.
A Tuesday order by Bureau of Food and Drugs chief Leticia Barbara Gutierrez says the temporary ban on importation, distribution and sale of China-made milk products has been imposed "in the interest of protecting public health and welfare.''
She says her office has no record of baby formula imports from China, but advised consumers not to buy infant milk that might have entered the country from China illegally.
The industrial chemical melamine has been found in infant formula and other milk products from 22 of China's dairy companies.
Beijing: The stock price of a company at the center of China's tainted milk product scandal plunged Tuesday as more countries expanded bans on Chinese milk products to include candies and other goods.
Tainted baby formula has sickened nearly 53,000 Chinese infants and has already cost the head of the country's food safety watchdog his job.
Four deaths have been blamed on the contaminated milk powder.
One of China's biggest milk producers, China Mengniu Dairy Co., saw its stock price plummet almost 60 percent in Hong Kong trading Tuesday after its products were found tainted with the industrial chemical melamine.
Mengniu, China's No. 1 dairy producer in total volume, said only a small portion of its products were contaminated and blamed the contamination on "the illegal acts of some irresponsible milk collection centers and raw milk dealers.''
"The board wishes to sincerely apologize for the inccident and any inconvenience caused to the public,'' the company said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange.
The resignation Monday of Li Changjiang, who headed the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine since 2001, comes a year after he and the government promised to overhaul the system in response to a series of product safety scares.
New regulations and procedures were introduced in an attempt to restore consumer confidence and preserve export markets after a string of recalls involving tainted toothpaste, faulty tires, contaminated seafood and in March 2007, pet food containing melamine that was blamed for the deaths of dogs and cats in the United States.
Li's resignation came as investigators revealed that China's biggest producer of powdered milk, Sanlu Group Co., had received complaints as early as December 2007 linking its infant formula to illnesses in babies.
Months later, tests revealed the milk was tainted with the industrial chemical melamine, which causes kidney stones and can lead to kidney failure.
Even then, Sanlu delayed ordering a product recall until Sept. 11, after the close of the Beijing Summer Olympics and in the face of rising concern from New Zealand partner Fonterra, which owns a 43 percent share in Sanlu.
Melamine, used to make plastics and fertilizer, has been found in infant formula and other milk products from 22 of China's dairy companies.
Suppliers trying to cut costs are believed to have added it to watered-down milk because its high nitrogen content masks the resulting protein deficiency.
Baby formula and other milk products have been pulled from stores around the country and Chinese dairy products have been recalled or banned in Japan, Singapore, Brunei and Hong Kong.
Taiwanese officials said they were conducting a sweeping food inspection to assure consumers that local milk supplies are free of chemical contamination.
Premier Liu Chao-shiuan said Taiwan's Health Department would send experts to China to better understand how the contamination occurred. - AP
Tuesday September 23, 2008 MYT 4:30:04 PM