Midday Express, 26 September 2008
The Commission will adopt safeguard measures to protect European citizens from melamine-contaminated milk products from China. These precautionary measures are in addition to the existing ban on the import of milk and milk products into the EU from China. The European Commission will impose an explicit total ban on all products originating from China for infants and young children containing any percentage of milk (infant formula, follow on formula and other products), in order to ensure that such products are not imported under any form. According to food operators, such milk products have not been imported into the European Union. Other measures provide that all imported products from China containing more than 15% of milk powder will be tested upon entry into the EU while random testing on such products already on the Union's market will be carried out. The percentage has been fixed at 15% taking into account the European Food Safety Authority's (EFSA) statement on the possible risks from the presence of melamine in milk products from China. EFSA identifies a worst case scenario according to which children with high daily consumption of composite products containing the highest possible level of milk powder could potentially exceed the tolerable daily intake (TDI) of melamine, which stands at 0,5 milligrams per kilo of body weight. In 2007, the EU imported from China about 19,500 tonnes of confectionary products, such as pastry, cake and biscuits and about 1,250 tonnes of chocolate and other food preparations containing cocoa. The Commission has discussed the situation today with the Member States in the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health (SCoFCAH) and intends to officially adopt the safeguard measures tomorrow.