BEIJING – A cancer-causing toxin linked to mildewed cattle feed has been found in baby formula in China, an official said Monday, the latest quality problem to plague the nation’s dairy industry since a 2008 tainted formula scandal that caused six babies’ deaths.
Aflatoxin was found in five batches of Nanshan Bywise brand formula made last year by Hunan Ava Dairy Industry Co. in Hunan province’s Nanshan city that were being sold in Guangzhou, said a man surnamed Gong from the Guangzhou Administration of Industry and Commerce General Office.
The five problem batches were boxes, bags or tins of powder weighing between 400 and 900 grams and manufactured between July and December last year. It wasn’t known if any of the problem formula was fed to babies. A low dose of aflatoxin is not considered harmful, but high doses are linked to cancer, especially in the liver.
The contamination was first reported by the administration in a statement posted online Friday. A woman who answered the phone at a Nanshan Bywise service hotline but who refused to give her name, said the company had no immediate comment on the case. The woman referred calls to food safety officials in Changsha, the capital of Hunan.
Aflatoxin is produced by a fungus that can grow on hay or grains and appear in the milk of animals that eat the mildewed feed. It previously has been detected in milk from China’s biggest dairy company, Mengniu. – AP