The vice president of Mengniu Dairy, Yang Wenjun, spoke to reporters at a news conference, and said: “We can breathe a sigh of relief now.”
According to news agency Reuters, Mengniu Dairy stock rose 6.7% after the Shanghai Municipal Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision released a statement declaring the company’s products as being melamine-free.
The Health Ministry also told the dairy to stop using an unapproved additive, which was deemed safe following tests, but is still illegal. The additive, osteoblast milk protein (OMP) is “not harmful to human health”, according to the Chinese government’s health experts.
Mengniu was ordered to stop production of Milk Deluxe, the product containing OMP. Imported from New Zealand, OMP has safety certification from the New Zealand Food Safety Authority. However, it hasn’t been approved by the Chinese government.
According to The Shanghai Daily, the Mengniu Group described the additive, which it had been using since 2005, as a “common food material”.
The company has stopped using OMP since the launch of the investigation (2 February 2009) and was in the process of getting official approval. However, vice president Yang Wenjun said that Mengniu would not be doing product recalls as it was “not a quality issue”.
The Health Ministry said in a statement that it had tested 932 batches of dairy products produced by the Dumex subsidiary since mid-September 2008, “and all are melamine-free”.
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