Sweet's maker takes action while awaiting test results The maker of the country's most famous brand of candy, White Rabbit, halted domestic sales yesterday, five days after Singapore found the industrial chemical melamine in the sweet. An official of Shanghai's Bright Foods Group, parent of the candy's producer Guan Sheng Yuan, said the sales halt came even though results of government tests had yet to be released. Guan Sheng Yuan stopped exports on Thursday but had previously ruled out further action pending test results. 'This is a profound lesson. It ought to be a lesson from now on that we must realistically strengthen the idea of supplying customers with healthy, safe and high-quality food,' Bright Foods deputy general manager Ge Junjie told Xinhua. Bright Foods also produces milk, and some of its other products have been found to contain melamine. This is not the first time White Rabbit has faced a crisis over food safety. Last year, several countries banned the candy out of concerns it contained the chemical formaldehyde, but the company denied those claims. A Guan Sheng Yuan official said the sales halt applied to all flavours of the popular candy, though other countries had found melamine only in the original, or creamy, flavour. The company has promised to announce test results when they become available. Guan Sheng Yuan hoped to use milk certified free from melamine to continue producing the candy, the official said. Besides Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand have found the chemical in the candy. British retailer Tesco pulled White Rabbit from its shelves, but did not say it had tested the sweet. Despite the halt of domestic sales, several major supermarket chains in Shanghai continued to stock the candy as of yesterday afternoon, with employees saying they had not received any formal announcement. Consumers who were aware of the news turned on the company. One hacked the website of Guan Sheng Yuan, posted an obscenity and wrote: 'Don't dare to eat anything.' At a Shanghai supermarket, shopper Lucy Lee said: 'So far, the Chinese government has merely focused on milk or milk powder, but I think it should inspect all food related to milk, such as candy and ice cream.' The candy with its distinctive cartoon rabbit is sold in more than 20 countries and regions and is especially popular in Asia. The predecessor to the candy dates to the 1940s, but the birth of White Rabbit in its present form is widely given as 1959. In a highlight in the history of the candy, premier Zhou Enlai presented visiting US president Richard Nixon with White Rabbit in 1972, a trip that produced the Shanghai communique that led to normalisation of bilateral relations. White Rabbit is particularly beloved in Shanghai, where many ate the candy as children and carried the taste for it into adulthood. 'During my childhood, the brands of candy were quite limited and White Rabbit was the one I used to eat. It is really part of my childhood memories and it reminds me of the past whenever I see it,' said university student Peng Jieyun, 22.