China seizes 12 tonnes of melamine tainted yoghurt candy

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese police have seized almost 12 tonnes of yoghurt candy tainted with melamine, state media said on Thursday, an industrial chemical at the centre of a scandal in 2008 in which six infants died and thousands were made ill.

Police in the southern province of Guangdong made the discovery during a sweep of food producers and have detained the manager of the factory that produced it, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

As the case was a complex one that involved other parts of the country, authorities had mobilised in 12 provinces to track down other people involved in its production, Xinhua added, without providing other details.

It did not say whether any of the product had found its way onto the market and been consumed.

China's food sector has been beset by poisonings and toxin scandals in recent years that have shaken consumer confidence. Numerous government crackdowns have apparently had little effect.

This month has seen another scandal, after an undercover television report alleged workers used expired meat and doctored food production dates at a factory which is part of OSI Group LLC, a US food supplier.

In 2008, at least six children died and nearly 300,000 fell ill from powdered milk laced with melamine, an industrial chemical added to low quality or diluted milk to fool inspectors checking for protein levels.

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