The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
Indonesia is pulling 28 types of Chinese-made dairy products from stores for investigation, as a worldwide frenzy erupts over findings of tainted and severely hazardous dairy products from the mainland.
The products include Oreo cookies and wafers, Indoeskrim Meiji's Gold Monas ice cream, M&Ms milk chocolate candies, Snickers candy bars, and Nestle UHT milk, the Drug and Food Monitoring Agency (BPOM) said Tuesday.
The action is being taken following reports that four infants in China were killed and more than 6,240 sickened after consuming formula milk products contaminated with melamine -- commonly found in plastics, fertilizers and cleaning agents, and which is used illegally to boost the protein content of dairy products.
Despite the limited number of dairy products from China in the local market, BPOM head Husniah Rubiana Thamrin warned consumers to be alert to the possibility of melamine contamination in some dairy items, including yogurt, candy and ice cream.
"That's why we're pulling them from the market, to prevent any possible poisoning similar to what we've seen in China," she said, adding that all regional offices had been notified to pull the products from stores and test them.
"I have talked with all importers about the decision and they have agreed to report to us and help recall the products," she said on the sidelines of a hearing with the House of Representatives' Commission VIII, which oversees religious, social and women's affairs.
"We will immediately examine the products' content to check whether they contain the chemical substance melamine," she added.
Nestle Indonesia, through its head of communications, released a response saying that all of its dairy-based products were safe for consumption and contained no harmful substances.
"Our products are controlled routinely and thoroughly to ensure that they comply with local standards as well as Nestl* standards," said Brata T. Hardjosubroto.
Thomas Darmawan, chairman of the Indonesian Food and Drinks Producers Association, expressed similar views, saying consumers should not panic, because Chinese dairy products only accounted for a tiny proportion of the country's dairy product imports.
"I hardly see imports of raw material from China for the production of dairy products," Darmawan said as reported by Reuters.
Indonesia imports about 250,000-300,000 tons of powdered milk annually, mostly from Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
The BPOM's Husniah added Indonesia had temporarily banned imports of dairy products from China.
"We will resume the imports only after we have finished our investigations," she said. (ewd)
List of products:
1.Jinwei Yogoo various fruit-flavored fermented milk
2.Jinwei Yogoo fruit-flavored fermented milk
3.Jinwei Yogoo plain milk
4.Guozhen full cream milk
5.Indoeskrim Meiji Gold Monas chocolate-flavored
6.Indoeskrim Meiji Gold Monas vanilla-flavored
7.Oreo wafer stick
8.Oreo chocolate sandwich
10.M&Ms milk chocolate candy
11.Snickers nugget biscuit
12.Snickers chocolate various flavors
14.Yoghurt natural choice
16.Yoghurt ice bar with real fruit
17.Yili bean club matcha red bean ice bar
18.Yili bean club red bean ice bean
20.Chocliz dark chocolate bar
21.Yili Superbean chestnut ice bar
22.Nestl* dairy farm UHT pure milk, 1 liter
23.Yili high-calcium low-fat milk beverage
24.Yili high-calcium milk beverage
25.Yili pure milk, 250 ml and 1 liter
26.Dutch lady strawberry-flavored
27.White rabbit creamy candy
28.Yili choice dairy frozen yogurt bar
Source: Health Ministry