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Tainted milk from China found in Saudi Arabia

/ Source: The Associated Press

The Saudi government has found excessive amounts of the industrial chemical melamine in powdered milk imported from China and lower concentrations in chocolate wafer cream made in Malaysia.

The kingdom's Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday it found melamine in five samples of milk and dairy products. The milk was produced by Nestle in China and the wafers by Apollo Industries in Malaysia.

China has been struggling to get melamine out of its food supply after the chemical was found in infant formula and other dairy products. Six babies died and nearly 300,000 were sickened by melamine-tainted formula.

Elsewhere in the Middle East, authorities in the United Arab Emirates have been monitoring imports closely and have not found any melamine-contaminated Chinese food products in that country.

The UAE's General Secretariat of Municipalities banned Chinese dairy and related products in October and ordered them to be withdrawn until tests ensured they are free from melamine.

In November, the UAE's government announced new requirements for imports of dairy products to address concerns about the possible presence of melamine.

The decree, which went into effect Nov. 10, requires food products with more than 15 percent of dairy content to be accompanied by a certificate stating that the presence of melamine in the product does not exceed 2.5 parts per million unless the exporting country has banned imports of Chinese dairy products.

In Jordan, Mohammed al-Rawashdeh, the director-general of the country's food and medicine department, has asked the customs department not to clear any milk and dairy product shipments from any country before ensuring they are melamine-free, the Petra news agency reported on Tuesday.