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Malaysia imposes level six alert to stop import of Chinese dairy products

KUALA LUMPUR, 19 Sept 2008: Malaysia has imposed a level six mechanism to stop the importation of all Chinese dairy products which are feared to have been contaminated by melamine.

Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai said that through this mechanism, all incoming dairy products from China at six checkpoints throughout Malaysia would be stopped immediately and returned.

"In Malaysia we have six entry checkpoints and all these entry points are on high alert…any products of these nature coming in through these checkpoints will be stopped immediately and be returned back … it is called ‘level six alert’ at all these entry points.

"We would like to inform the public that Malaysia only imports dairy products from Australia and New Zealand. We do not import from China.

"Nevertheless, we are still imposing the level six checking to stop the entry of any of these products into the country," he told reporters after closing the Asia-Pacific Health Minister’s Conference On Climate Change and Health here today.

Liow said the government would stop imposing the mechanism after China solved the contamination problem on its dairy products.

Apart from imposing the mechanism, the government was also issuing alerts to all the hospitals and doctors to be wary of the effects of dairy products which contained melamine on the health, he said.

China said on 17 Sept that a third baby had died and more than six thousand infants were ill as it grappled with a festering melamine-contaminated milk scandal involving one of its biggest dairy producers, Sanlu Group, which came to light only last week.

Melamine, an industrial chemical used to make plastics and fertilisers, is rich in nitrogen and when mixed in milk, can make its protein level appear higher than it actually is. It is banned in food production. – Bernama

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