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Italy discovers tainted milk.

10/17/2008 6:36:55 AM

Italy has discovered two containers of milk and one of yogurt containing melamine, the industrial chemical that contaminated milk powder in China and hospitalised thousands of babies, the health ministry has said.

The authorities in Naples have also separately seized tonnes of illegal Chinese products.

Officials said the concentration of the toxic substance posed a non-lethal health threat and is limited to illegally imported Chinese products being sold by retailers that mostly cater to Chinese immigrants.The health ministry issued a statement that said inspections at hundreds of import companies and shops that sell Chinese products had resulted in the three positive tests, out of 48 samples analysed.

Continuing checksThe ministry called the contamination "extremely contained", but checks were continuing across the country following the positive tests on the samples taken in the southern cities of Bari and Naples.

Milk and other dairy products laced with melamine have been blamed for the deaths of four infants and for more than 54,000 falling sick in mainland China.

On Thursday, authorities seized Chinese-made products at shops in Naples, including a tonne of milk believed to be contaminated with melamine. The milk, which had a long shelf life, was sold in tins and was of a brand known to have been contaminated, said a statement from the authorities.

Even if the milk turns out to be uncontaminated, it would still be illegal because imports of dairy products from China are banned, Vincenzo Stabile, an official, said.

Other items seized included chicken legs, an import that was banned amid concerns over bird flu, as well as products made from endangered animals and plants, Stabile said.

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Date:Oct 21, 2008
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