China Mengniu says milk products safe to consume

HONG KONG, Feb 16 (Reuters) - China Mengniu Dairy 2319.HK, the country's top milk producer, said Chinese authorities had concluded that an additive in its milk products was safe to consume.

China Mengniu said last Thursday it was liaising with Chinese authorities on the use of an additive, osteoblast milk protein (OMP), and awaiting a reply after China’s national quality watchdog said it was investigating Mengniu’s use of OMP in its premium milk brands. [ID:nPEK316764]

“After considering the source, production and application quantity of OMP....the experts confirmed that consumption of Milk Deluxe (OMP) currently available in the market is not hazardous to health,” the company said in a statement late on Sunday.

The company said it would provide full assistance to the relevant authorities in the supervision process. For statement please click here 0215003.pdf Mengniu was among several firms in China found to have sold melamine-contaminated milk last year.

At least six babies died from drinking infant formula contaminated with melamine, a toxic industrial compound that can give a false positive on protein tests.

Shares of Mengniu fell more than 9 percent last week to end at HK$10.16 on Friday, while the broader benchmark index .HSI eased 0.7 percent. (US$1=HK$7.8)