Dairies deny milking new safety standards

Updated: 2011-11-29 16:46

By Zhao Chenyan (chinadaily.com.cn)

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China's dairy manufacturers have denied hijacking a bill for national milk standards after strict new safety limits were changed in the draft regulations, Beijing Morning reported on Tuesday.

The response came after the authoritative newspaper People's Daily claimed a baseline bacteria count agreed by experts and officials was amended by China's three major dairy producers in the draft bill.

The maximum limit for bacteria in raw milk in China, or the aerobic plate count, was initially set at 500,000 cells per milliliter, but it was increased to two million.

Zeng Shouying, vice-director of the Dairy Industry Committee of China Dairy Association said China's three major dairy companies, Mengniu Dairy, Yili Industrial Group and Bright Dairy, took charge in revising standards for pasteurized milk, raw milk and yogurt.

Yili Industrial Group admitted attending the standard's drafting along with ten other dairy companies. But it also claimed the draft bill was just for discussion before being submitted to the authoritative departments and experts group for further comment.

Yili also said it will make further strict standards to promote the healthy development of the dairy industry.

Mengniu Dairy said they just proposed a suggestion and do not have the final decision.

Another major manufacturer Bright Dairy has not responded.