Baby formula

Food import inspections increased after claims sell-by dates changed on baby formula

Government safety watchdog alleges the safety information on some tins of an Australian brand of milk powder was tampered with

PUBLISHED : Monday, 17 March, 2014, 3:23pm
UPDATED : Monday, 17 March, 2014, 3:23pm

The government’s quality and safety watchdog has stepped up inspections of all imported food after allegations that the expiry dates on some baby formula produced by an Australian company had been tampered with.

Chen Xitong, a spokesman for the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine told a programme broadcast on state television on Saturday that the authorities had seized more than 50,000 tins of the milk formula brand Ozmilko, produced by OZDairy Foods. The report did not make clear which companies had imported the powder into the mainland.

The authorities allege that the expiry date had been tampered with on the bottom of 997 tins, while the date on another 19,256 tins differed from the one on their Chinese labels.

The safety watchdog has informed the Australian company it is carrying out an investigation, the Legal Daily reported.

Demand for overseas-produced baby formula has soared on the mainland since 2008 when six infants died after drinking milk contaminated with the industrial chemical melamine.

The central government introduced a series of measures last September to control the baby formula industry, including requiring foreign manufacturers to register with Beijing before exporting their products to the mainland.