Melamine – new measures taken

The Commission will take measures to ban the import from China of food for infants and young children containing soya and soya products, after high levels of melamine were recently found in Chinese soy bean meal. Competent authorities in the Member States will have to test all other feed and food containing soya and soya products originating from China before allowing imports. Only feed and food containing less than 2.5 milligrams of melamine per kilo (mg/kg) will be allowed into the EU.     

The Commission was recently informed by the Member States through the Rapid Alert System for Feed and Food (RASFF) that high levels of melamine have been found in soy bean meal imported from China.

In 2007, the EU imported about 68 000 tonnes of various soya products or products containing soya for a total value of about 34 million euros. The list includes products such as soya beans, soya bean flour and meal, soya sauce and protein concentrates and textured protein substances.

The Commission initially adopted safeguard measures regarding melamine-contaminated products from China at the end of September. In particular, and in addition to the already existing ban on the import of Chinese milk and milk products into the EU, the Commission imposed an explicit total ban on all products for infants and young children containing any percentage of milk (infant formula, follow-on formula and other products). Furthermore, all composite products containing milk and milk products from China have to be tested for melamine before these can be placed on the EU market.

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