Malaysia lifts blanket ban on Chinese baking agent


PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia — Malaysia has lifted a blanket ban on the import of a baking agent from China after most shipments were found to be safe for consumption and free of melamine. Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai said Wednesday that ammonium bicarbonate shipped by three Chinese companies was found to contain excessive levels of melamine, a toxic chemical that has been blamed for several infant deaths and thousands of child sicknesses in China.

Those companies will remain banned from shipping the baking agent to Malaysia, Liow said. However, ammonium bicarbonate, used in making biscuits, from all other companies will be allowed back into the local market after being tested at the border, Liow said.