Chinese milk safety targeted in multinational team-up

By Neil Merrett

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Dairy industry Dairy Milk

DSM has announced its intentions to work with players from throughout the Chinese dairy industry in attempts to ensure improved safety throughout the country’s milk supply chain.

The ingredient supplier says that following last week’s one day safety forum, arranged in cooperation with China-based supplier Yili, preventing further contamination scandals was identified as a key future focus for producers.

According to DSM, 16 January’s International Dairy Safety Forum saw gathered representatives from both the Chinese government and the country’s dairy industry put specific attention on providing a national milk sourcing system.

Melamine Scandal

China’s dairy industry was put at the heart of a global scandal in 2008, when thousands of children were hospitalised and at least three people were killed after traces of the industrial chemical melamine found its way into milk. Melamine is a chemical that can make it appear there is more protein in a product, and has been linked to causing kidney stones and other health problems.

While China bore the brunt of the contamination fears, products around the world ranging from Infant formula to confectionery were recalled in fears over ingredient sourcing in the country.

DSM claims that in this current market it would look to work with the industry in pushing its quality initiatives as well as safety policies.

However, from the company’s own business perspective, DSM said that it would be playing up its Quality for Life seal on all the ingredient products it was selling in the country.

The seal

According to the manufacturer, the seal will allow the company to push claims that its ingredients have been safely produced and are traceable to their source.

Depending on the specific applications of its products, the company says that the scheme would include a range of independent certified schemes.

These supported initiatives include Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP), the requirements of the International Standards Organization (ISO) and a number of others, claimed the group.

While the Quality for Life scheme is focused on DSM’s own ingredient products, Jiang Wei-Ming, president of the company’s Chinese operations said that information sharing was an important part of its cooperation.

“Systems guaranteeing that ingredients are correctly produced without contamination and training and education of managers and workforce to achieve and sustain the standards are just two examples of how we implement this commitment,”​ stated Wei-Ming. “We feel a great responsibility to co-operate with the Chinese government and dairy industry to promote uniform standards to safeguard quality and sustainability.”

The cooperation could come at a key time for dairy production in China.

Just last September, safety experts speaking at a meeting held in China said that the country must build a climate of responsibility among its food producers to protect consumers around the world from unsafe products.

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