More countries pull suspect products as China milk scandal spreads

SEOUL, October 4, 2008 (AFP) – South Korea, Australia and Japan Saturday pulled melamine-contaminated sweets and drinks from supermarket shelves amid a widening scandal over Chinese milk products tainted with the toxic chemical.

Authorities in Seoul ordered Mars and Nestle to pull three products after melamine, which is usually used for making plastics, was detected in snacks made in China by the multinationals.

The industrial chemical had been found in M&M’s milk chocolate snack and Snickers peanut Fun Size, both produced by Mars, and Kit Kat chocolate bars imported from Nestle Tianjin in China, Korea Food and Drug Administration said.

“Mars is recalling these products because it is legally obligated to do so following the announcement by the Korean Food and Drug Administration (KFDA),” Mars said in a statement.

Melamine has been blamed for making thousands of infants ill and killing four in mainland China after it tainted baby milk powder in arguably the worst in a litany of product safety scandals involving Chinese-made goods in recent years.

Since first appearing in baby milk formula, melamine has been found in a range of products containing Chinese milk.

Mars said while it was complying with th