About a ton of smuggled Chinese powdered milk seized in the Italian city of Naples is likely to be contaminated with the industrial chemical melamine, Italian authorities said on Thursday.
The Forest Corps, Italy's environmental police, said in a statement there was a "high risk" that the seized milk was contaminated with melamine because it was found in packages which usually contained tainted milk.
But a corps official whose unit impounded the milk in the southern Italian city told Reuters checks were needed to determine if it was in fact contaminated.
The seized powder milk had been smuggled into Italy because its import has been banned, he said.
Dozens of countries consuming products with Chinese dairy ingredients have banned their import, recalled products or imposed strict checks after thousands of Chinese children were made sick from drinking tainted infant milk formula.
Police who have sifted through numerous containers of Asian origin in the Naples port area during "Red Lanterns" raid have seized about 20 tons of food products which did not comply to the European Union traceability standards, the statement said.
The products, including Chinese dairy products, would be destroyed, the statement said.