(Yicai Global) July 24 -- China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology convened a meeting of infant formula milk powder producers in Beijing yesterday where it proposed practical measures to advance their mergers and reorganizations, MIIT reported today.
Wang Minyan, deputy inspector of the the ministry's consumer products office, ticked off four ways to give effect to guidelines by the State Council -- China's highest administrative body -- to revive the dairy sector and ensure the safety of its products.
These include fostering awareness of the need for quality and safety of infant formula milk powder, transforming and upgrading the sector, encouraging mergers and reorganizations, and crafting a credit system for dairy producers to create a long-term safety mechanism.
The guidelines issued last month offer comprehensive instructions for the construction of milk source bases, processing and circulation of dairy products, regulation of dairy quality and safety, and steering of consumption.
Chinese dairy giants Yili, Yashili, Wandashan, Beingmate, Junlebao and another eight milk powder makers attended and exchanged information.
China's dairy industry was in the throes of the melamine milk scandal in 2008, when formula contaminated with the toxic industrial chemical affected hundreds of thousands of Chinese children, killing six. It led to life imprisonment for the general manager of a dairy company and the closure of several factories. Ten years on, China's dairy industry is still struggling to win back consumer trust.
The issue of food and drug safety crops up with truly sickening regularity in China. The latest entries in the ever-lengthening litany were Changsheng Biotechnology unit Changchun Changsheng Life Sciences' acts of fiddling its rabies vaccine data and producing an inoculant for diphtheria, whooping cough and tetanus in violation of rules in two separate incidents this month.
Editor: Ben Armour