SHANGHAI: Hong Kong food inspectors
have found fish feed
imported from China contaminated with high levels of melamine, a
that has recently been blamed for tainting Chinese-produced milk,
eggs and other
The Hong Kong government finding, reported late Tuesday, is the
indication that melamine, a chemical used to make plastic and
seeped into large parts of China's food and feed industry, posing
health hazards to consumers.
In September, melamine-tainted milk was blamed for sickening more
children in China and causing the deaths of at least four, many of
from kidney ailments. That set off global recalls of Chinese dairy
a nationwide investigation into whether China's food chain was
The government has moved aggressively to deal with the scandal,
the country with food inspectors, but melamine-tainted food and feed
continue to turn up in neighboring regions that trade with
Hong Kong officials have discovered melamine in milk, eggs and
products imported from China, and are now testing a wide range of
food and feed
products for melamine.
Inspectors said fish feed imported from Fujian Province in
southern China was
found to have 6.6 parts per million, more than twice the level of
deemed safe for food. The acceptable level in Hong Kong and the
United States is
2.5 parts per million.
But Hong Kong officials also said in an announcement posted on a
Web site that melamine-tainted fish feed would probably not pose
problems for people who consumed fish because consumers would not be
eating the melamine.
As a precaution, inspectors asked Hong Kong fish farms not to use
contaminated with melamine.
In late October, newspapers in Vietnam reported that tests on 240
fish feed imported from China had found traces of melamine, but not
Last year, thousands of pets in the United States were sickened
pet food that contained melamine-tainted ingredients from China.
That led to the
largest pet food recall in the United States.
China has accused rogue food and feed dealers of intentionally
and food supplies with melamine because the chemical fools tests
protein levels. Some dealers use melamine as a cheap feed
not knowing its dangers.
But in interviews last spring, after the pet food scandal,
dealers who sell the melamine waste material to anyone who will buy
admitted that feed companies often bought melamine and that it was
in the fish feed industry.