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China: Feed destroyed and plants shut

More than 369,000 government inspectors have been involved in over 3,600 tonnes of animal feed tainted with melamine being destroyed, and 238 illegal feed makers being shut down.

Health threat
This follows growing fears that the Chinese animal feed industry could be contaminated by melamine, endangering the national food supply and posing a health threat to consumers.

Recently, eggs produced in 3 different Chinese provinces have been found to be tainted with high levels of melamine, which is chemical used in the manufacture of plastic and fertiliser. Additionally, melamine-tainted milk is blamed for sickening more than 50,000 children and causing at least four deaths in China.

Reports state that regulators in the southern province of Guangdong have discovered 6 t of melamine-tainted animal feed. An official at the Agriculture Ministry said that the government would mete out harsh punishments to those who were deliberately adding melamine to animal feed.

Melamine illegal
"It is illegal for any individual or any enterprise to add melamine into feed, and we will crack down uncompromisingly on melamine," Wang Zhicai, director of the animal husbandry and livestock bureau at the Agriculture Ministry.

But government officials said that China's animal feed supply was largely safe, and that only a small number of operators had deliberately added melamine to feed, often using it as cheap filler in order to save money.

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