(AFP) – Sep 21, 2008
BUJUMBURA (AFP) — Burundi became the third African nation to ban Chinese milk products, after tainted milk from the country killed four babies in China and made thousands of others ill, the government said Sunday.
"The trade, industry and tourism ministry is calling on importers and shopkeepers who stock Chinese milk to stop selling the product until the end of an investigation," a ministry statement said.
"This measure also concerns the sellers of repackaged milk, whatever its origin," added the statement, while urging consumers to keep a watchful eye on the packaging of milk products.
A special commission has been set up to investigate the scale of the tainted milk problem in Burundi and "take urgent measures to protect the population," the statement said.
Burundi imports milk products from two Chinese companies that are currently embroiled in the tainted powdered-milk scandal.
Four children have died and at least 6,200 are ill owing to milk products contaminated with melamine, an industrial chemical used in the manufacturing of plastics.
A Burundi consumer association, known as ABUCO, expressed concern that tainted milk products were already being stocked in the country's shops.
"For the moment, nobody knows if the milk is being sold on the Burundi market," said Noel Nkurunziza, the president of ABUCO.
On Saturday, Gabon and Tanzania banned Chinese milk products and all Chinese dairy products respectively.
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