25 Jul 2012

Toxin found in Chinese baby formula

6:07 am on 25 July 2012

A dairy company in China has been ordered to suspend production after a cancer-causing toxin was found in its infant formula.

The Xinhua news agency reports Ava Dairy Co Ltd has started a recall after high levels of aflatoxin, which is caused by mould, was found in products made between July - December.

The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said the affected formula was mainly sold to supermarkets in Hunan and Guangdong.

according to the World Health Organisation, aflatoxins can be found in milk after cows consume feed contaminated by mould, and can increase the risk of liver cancer.

Last month another company, Yili, began recalling batches of baby formula after they were found to contain high levels of mercury.

In December, aflatoxin was found in milk produced by the Mengniu Dairy Group.

Milk was at the centre of a food safety scandal in 2008 when melamine, an industrial chemical, was found to have been illegally added to dairy products to give the appearance of higher protein content.

At least six babies died and another 300,000 became ill after drinking milk tainted with melamine.