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Consumers still unsure of Chinese dairy quality
Posted at 2016-09-02 17:00:13 CLICK COUNT:494

Xinhua

Many Chinese consumers remain skeptical about domestic dairy products, despite a reassuring report from an industry association stating that the quality of domestic milk products has improved substantially.

The Dairy Association of China report, published on Tuesday, said 99.5 percent of dairy products checked last year were up to standard, and no illegal additives, such as melamine, had been detected in fresh milk for the past seven years.

The report compiled the results of inspections on 151,000 batches of dairy products carried out by the Ministry of Agriculture since 2009.

China has taken several measures in recent years to regain public trust-including tightening supervision, shutting down unqualified dairy operations and increasing policy support following a high-profile scandal in 2008, when infant formula produced by Sanlu Group, then a leading dairy company in Hebei province, was found to contain the chemical melamine, which killed six babies and left thousands seriously ill.

Following the incident, more contaminated milk products were discovered nationwide, prompting worried Chinese consumers to turn to overseas milk products, especially for infants.

Despite official figures showing an improvement in domestically produced dairy products, feelings among Chinese consumers remain mixed.

"My daughter drinks breast milk and I have stored some milk powder from Japan for her. No one dares to risk their babies' lives to test the safety of Chinese milk products," said Yang Yang, a new mother in Beijing.

While some remain skeptical, others say they have faith in domestic milk products. Wang Jian, whose daughter is three years old, said she has always been a firm supporter of Chinese infant formula. Wang said her daughter had tried many products, and the infant liked a domestic brand based in Shanghai.

"I have also compared ingredients of both foreign and domestic infant formulas, and I believe the Chinese formula is the most suitable for Chinese babies," Wang said. Wang Xianzhi, a food industry analyst at Liaowang Institution, said a dairy quality report will be released regularly by the Dairy Association of China and will serve as an important way for consumers to know more about the industry.

Wang said that although the quality of Chinese dairy products has improved dramatically since 2008, issues remain, adding that the biggest challenge lies not just in addressing quality, but in consumer confidence.

 

 

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