China's government has called for "unbiased, scientific and fair treatment" of its dairy products abroad after the scandal of the melamine contamination that left at least three infants dead and thousands ill.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said China "understands" the concerns of countries that have restricted imports of its dairy products, but Chinese food safety watchdogs had strengthened supervision of exported dairy products.
Food safety authorities had promised that once problems were detected, China would immediately inform the concerned countries and demand the responsible manufacturer recall or destroy the tainted product.
The Sanlu Group, a leading Chinese dairy producer based in northern Hebei Province, admitted on Sept. 12 that it had found some of its baby milk powder products were contaminated with melamine.
Contaminated baby formula has left more than 53,000 with urinary tract problems, including kidney stones.
"As a matter of fact, China promptly reported the information to relevant countries as well as international organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) when Sanlu milk powder products were found contaminated," Qin said.
He added that food safety had become a global challenge, and China was committed to stepping up its communication and cooperation with the international community to address the issue.
(Xinhua News Agency October 10, 2008)