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China milk scandal: Brussels proposes controls

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China milk scandal: Brussels proposes controls
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The World Health Organisation and UNICEF have described the growing scandal over contaminated Chinese milk-powder as deplorable.

More and more countries in Europe, Africa and Asia are banning Chinese milk products.

Nearly 13,000 children in China have swamped hospitals, ill from milk-formula tainted with a cheap industrial chemical that can be used to cheat quality controls.

Melamine is known for its use in the plastics industry. When added to sub-standard milk, it can give the impression of falsely high protein levels.

It can crystallise in the bloodstream, causing kidney damage, or even failure.

Four youngsters in China have died so far.

Burundi, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Ghana, Tanzania and Burkina Faso are the latest African countries to ban Chinese milk-product imports.

The European Commission has proposed that Chinese food products containing more than 50 per cent milk powder be tested, and all such products destined for children and young people be banned outright.

Those include chocolate and biscuits.

France has already introduced a ban as a precautionary measure.

Italy has not gone that far but is warning consumers to take extra care.