Melamine found in 6 tonnes of chicken feed in Guangdong

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 01 November, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 01 November, 2008, 12:00am

More than 6 tonnes of chicken feed in Guangdong have tested positive for melamine, according to a notice released by the province's Department of Agriculture yesterday.

This came as Hong Kong's Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said it had started to make arrangements to test animal feed used at local farms.

It said it had not received any reports about local animals being fed with melamine-tainted feed, but had requested that farmers check with their suppliers to make sure there was no contamination.

The department also asked farmers to tell them immediately if any of their animals fell ill from feed they suspected to be tainted with the industrial chemical, which is used to make plastic and glue. It is illegally used to make the protein content of substandard food appear adequate.

Yesterday's mainland notice said tests on animal feed had been stepped up since Saturday, when news emerged of melamine being found in eggs exported to the city. Eggs from the mainland provinces of Liaoning , Hubei and Shanxi have been found to contain excessive levels of melamine.

The notice said mainland authorities had tested 531 batches of feed, of which eight batches, accounting for 6.48 tonnes, contained melamine. Some 98.5 per cent of the batches tested were melamine-free.

The notice also said some of the ingredients in the tainted feed had come from rural parts of the province and the agriculture authorities were trying to trace the source.

Mainland newspaper Nanfang Daily reported that some suppliers of animal feed in Guangdong had been adding melamine to their product for years and it was 'an open secret'.

Meanwhile, local fish wholesalers have asked mainland officials to consider issuing certificates to fish exports that pass the melamine test, after health chief York Chow Yat-ngok asked mainland authorities to consider issuing certificates for eggs.

Hong Kong, Kowloon and New Territories Freshwater Fish Wholesale Association chairman Tommy Hui Hon-man said wholesalers had asked for the certificates at a meeting two days ago with representatives from registered mainland fish farms.

Mr Hui said officials from the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine had told them that fish exported to Hong Kong from Guangdongregistered fish farms had been tested and were melamine-free.