Melamine tainted egg scare spreads to Beijing

BEIJING, October 29, 2008 (AFP) – Supermarkets in Beijing stopped selling eggs from one of China’s major producers on Wednesday as fears about the toxic chemical melamine spread to the Chinese capital.

The retailers acted after Hong Kong health authorities said they had detected melamine, which has killed four babies and sickened 53,000 in China, in eggs from the Hanwei group.

“We pulled the eggs from the shelves after we heard tests showed another brand from the same producer had the problem in Hong Kong,” said Han Xiuzhi, a manager at BHG supermarket in Shin Kong Place, a department store.

US retail giant Wal-Mart said Tuesday it had pulled Hanwei’s eggs from its shelves in China, although emphasised it was a precautionary measure and that those that had been on sale had not been found to be contaminated.

Hong Kong health authorities reported over the weekend that they had found melamine in eggs produced by the Hanwei Group.

The discovery of the tainted eggs has led to mounting fears that melamine may have contaminated a larger share of China’s food supply than previously thought.

Until the recent development, melamine had been discovered only in dairy products or produc