Yili recalls mercury-laced milk goods

PUBLISHED : Friday, 15 June, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 15 June, 2012, 12:00am


Dairy giant the Yili Group yesterday recalled some baby formula products after 'abnormal' levels of mercury were found.

The firm said it issued the recall after the national food-safety watchdog made the discovery in its All Excellent line of milk powder on Tuesday.

The recall was made despite the lack of national standards on mercury content in milk powder, the firm said.

The problematic batches were produced between November and May. Yili said its other dairy products were untainted.

Workers of the Jiajiayue supermarket group in Yantai , Shandong province yesterday confirmed that they were told to remove All Excellent products from sale in e-mails from their company headquarters.

But several Jiajiayue outlets across the mainland yesterday said they had not heard about the recall and were still selling the products. Guan Jun, a blogger who is a former newspaper reporter, was the first to report the recall on his Sina microblog account yesterday morning, but did not identify the Yili Group.

Yili released news of the mercury content late yesterday afternoon.

But in an interview with Sina financial news earlier yesterday, Yili made no mention of the mercury content. It said the recall was part of a marketing strategy to upgrade the products.

Dairy products produced on the mainland have come under widespread criticism since a scandal in 2008 involving formula made by firms including Sanlu, a formerly state-owned dairy firm using milk adulterated with industrial additive melamine. Six children died and 300,000 were made ill.


Yili's share of the mainland's milk formula market last year, according to AC Nielsen. Its sales rose 22 per cent last year from 2010