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'New milk tests come up clean'

China, mired in a health scandal over contaminated dairy products at home and abroad, said new tests had revealed no melamine in liquid milk on the home market.

world Updated: Oct 05, 2008 10:36 IST

China, mired in a health scandal over contaminated dairy products at home and abroad, said new tests had revealed no melamine in liquid milk on the home market.

It was the second time in days China has tried to repair confidence in its dairy products, saying also on Thursday the latest chemical tests had come back clean.

Thousands of children in China have fallen sick and four have died after drinking melamine-laced milk. The dairy scare, China's latest in a long line of food safety problems, also prompted mounting recalls and warnings abroad.

Samples of 609 batches of liquid, as opposed to powdered, milk from 27 cities across China were found free of melamine, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) announced late on Saturday.

The test was the sixth in China after the tainted milk powder scandal erupted last month. A total of 2,093 batches of liquid milk under 115 brands, among other dairy products, had been checked since then, Xinhua news agency said, citing the AQSIQ.

There was no clean bill of health, though, for powdered milk. The food safety watchdog said on Wednesday that 31 more batches had tested positive for melamine, which has been added to cheat nutrition tests.

The Ministry of Agriculture said Saturday it had developed an emergency rescue plan with the Ministry of Finance to give special subsidies to dairy farmers who have suffered from shrinking demand.