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Formula producer backs import claim
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2009-06-19 16:11

In the latest case to inflame consumer mistrust of the country's dairy industry, major baby formula producer Scient is battling reports its products are not made from imported milk as claimed.

"The dairy ingredients of our Scient products have been 100 percent imported. There have been no problems with quality and the products are in line with the country's quality supervision requirements," Zhang Peixi, a manager for the company, told China Daily yesterday.

He was responding to comments from Wang Dingmian, executive council member of the Dairy Association of China, that Scient has been falsely touting its baby formula as 100 percent imported from Australia and New Zealand, when the source was actually Shanxi and Heilongjiang provinces.

That's the same area the company gets its milk for its lower-end Yashili brand. Both brands are owned by a company run by two brothers.

Lin Zheng, a lawyer assistant of the Open Constitution Initiative, said the group helped a Beijing consumer surnamed Lin sue Scient in a Haidian district court last Friday.

"The picture on their packaging looks like the American flag, so many consumers believe they are paying extra money for imported milk powder," he told China Daily yesterday.

Scient should stop misguiding Chinese consumers who are still shaken by last year's Sanlu milk scandal and who are seeking quality imported milk products, he said.

Guangdong-based Scient Infant Nutrition Company issued a press release on its website saying that all of its milk products were imported from New Zealand and Australia since Jan 1 this year.

It did not refer to the source of milk before 2009, but its ads referring to "imported milk" can be traced to 2005.

Shao Mingjun, an official with the Diary Association of China, yesterday told China Daily that the controversy over Scient's milk powder might add to the negative impact on the development of the country's dairy industry.

An online poll by Sina.com of 10,862 netizens showed 86.9 percent were not confident buying Scient's product, and 8.4 percent said they felt confused and could not chose what to purchase.

"I'm going to stop buying this brand's products even though it has no quality problems! It cheated customers who thought they were paying a higher price for imported milk," Caoxi, a 26-year-old Beijinger, told China Daily yesterday.

A Guangzhou-based quality supervision department said it would be difficult to tell whether Scient's products were from imported milk, according to the reports of National Business Daily on June 11.


Source:China Daily 
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