Which milk’s to blame?
China’s quarantine service has rejected imports of Australian milk products because they failed bacteria tests.
The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said nine tonnes of Ausnutria milk powder, produced by Tatura Milk Industries in Victoria, failed the standard for Enterobacter sakazaki, a bacteria that in infants can cause meningitis, inflammation of the brain’s protective membranes, developmental problems and death.
Reuters reported that more than 14 tonnes of Pauls milk, produced by Parmalat Australia, a subsidiary of the Italian food giant, also failed a bacteria test.
The rejected Australian milk products were part of 2719 consignments of imported food and cosmetics rejected by the administration in the first seven months of this year, China Daily reported.
Western food safety officials said that reports in state-controlled media were consistent with a pattern of retaliation that has followed previous Chinese food contamination scandals.
“It’s just something they use, I’m sure it’s retaliation,” a European Union official said.
Australian and EU officials have pressed China for years to drop what they call unreasonable “zero tolerance” regulations for the bacteria, which is found in most food and drink products.