Mainland-made products must be watched closely

The China Post news staff

The government has banned the import of milk powder produced by 22 companies on the Chinese mainland. The products were found to be tainted by a deadly chemical. The measure was necessary and important. The Department of Health made the announcement after the authorities on the mainland admitted that the baby milk powder made by the 22 companies contained melamine, a chemical used in plastics. The tainted milk has been linked to three baby deaths and thousands of cases of infant sickness in China, according to news reports. The widening scandal reflects badly on mainland China’s product safety system, which was overhauled to restore consumer confidence and preserve export markets after a string of recalls and warnings abroad over tainted toothpaste, faulty tires and other goods.

One of the 22 manufacturers whose products have been banned here is mainland China’s biggest milk company, Mengniu Dairy, also one of mainland China’s largest milk powder producers. The company said it was recalling its baby formula after government tests found melamine in the product. Two famous brands of milk powder which are extremely popular with consumers here were also made on the mainland, arousing widespread fears among local consumers. Yesterday, the two companies made urgent announcements stressing that their products were safe. Even so, we hope that our health authorities will monitor the products closely to protect the health and life of the people. The authorities should also be more careful about the quality and safety of other mainland products before they are allowed to be imported onto the island.