China commerce ministry to step up inspection of all imported dairy products

BEIJING Wed Aug 7, 2013 4:40am EDT

A sales assistant takes down Dumex milk powder products from shelves, which were included in a recall program by Fonterra, at a supermarket in Taiyuan, Shanxi province August 5, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer

A sales assistant takes down Dumex milk powder products from shelves, which were included in a recall program by Fonterra, at a supermarket in Taiyuan, Shanxi province August 5, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Stringer

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BEIJING (Reuters) - China's commerce ministry said on Wednesday that it would step up inspections of all imported dairy products in the wake of a contamination scare involving ingredients for milk formula. It did not give further details.

The move comes after New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra, the world's biggest dairy exporter, said human error resulted in some of its products being contaminated and shipped around the world.

Ministry spokesman Shen Danyang also said in a statement that separate investigations into drug company pricing and bribery allegations are not targeted specifically at foreign companies, which he called "an important part" of China's economy.

"Saying that the (drug) investigations are targeting foreign companies is groundless," Shen said in the statement.

(Reporting by Michael Martina and Xiaoyi Shao; Editing by Matt Driskill)

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