This post was edited by vincent001 at 2011-12-26 10:10|
A batch of Mengniu milk was found to contain excessive levels of flavacin M1 - a substance linked to liver cancer, the country's top quality watchdog said over the weekend.
The batch did not reach the market, officials said.
The Inner Mongolia-based Mengniu Dairy Group yesterday apologized to consumers and said the products involved have been destroyed.
The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said during a routine inspection flavacin M1 was discovered in a batch of boxed milk produced at the company's plant in Meishan, in the southwestern province of Sichuan.
Tests showed that the milk, produced on October 18, contained flavacin levels of 1.2 micrograms per kilogram - 140 times higher than the country's permitted level.
Flavacin M1 is found in food mold and can cause severe liver damage, including liver cancer. In 1998, the World Health Organization listed flavacin M1 as a Class A carcinogen.
Mengniu accepted the inspection results and said that the products had since been destroyed.
The dairy giant has been involved in several scandals in recent years.
Last month, quality authorities in south China's Guangdong Province said Mengniu ice-cream contained high levels of bacteria.
In April, 251 pupils fell ill after drinking Mengniu milk at a school in the northwestern Shaanxi Province.
The company was also embroiled in the country's worst food safety scandal in recent years.
In 2008, Mengniu infant formula and other brands were found tainted with industrial chemical melamine. The problem milk left six children dead and sickened about 300,000.