Chen Shazhou, the deputy director at China’s State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) food inspection unit, announced the figure during an annual dairy product quality meeting held in Beijing on January 11.
He said that as of Dec 13 last year, the unit had completed sampling inspection on 2,358 batches of infant formula products. Of these, five batches did not pass the inspection criteria.
In other words, 99.79% of the products have met inspection criteria.
A breakdown of the figures showed that all of the 1,721 batches of products produced by 114 domestic companies met the criteria, Xinhuanet reported.
The batches which failed to meet the criteria were from overseas producers.
Out of the 637 batches of products produced by 53 producers from 15 countries, five did not meet the criteria.
Products from these batches were produced in England, New Zealand, Spain, and Australia.
On the other hand, melamine – which was at the centre of the 2008 infant formula saga – has now not been detected for 11 consecutive years.
The sampling inspection covers 63 areas, including micro-organisms and contamination of heavy metal.
Since 2016, the authorities have conducted monthly sampling inspection on infant formula powder.
Last year, 948,000 tonnes of milk powder was produced in China, up 2.69% from 2018. Of these, 650,000 tonnes was infant formula.
We reported last year that China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) and WeChat have jointly developed and launched the country’s first WeChat mini program for infant formula traceability.
At the meeting, it was revealed that about 20 manufacturers have joined the platform which has accumulated nearly 800 million pieces of information linked with product traceability.
Yili, Mengniu, Feihe are some of the firms with product data plugged into the platform.
The Chinese authorities also said last year that they aimed to beef up local infant formula production such that local products made up 60% of the market share.