China’s food safety watchdog has asked three milk producers in Shaanxi province to recall substandard infant formula milk powder in the latest blow to the troubled industry.
The China Food and Drug Administration said on its website on Tuesday that the companies should be severely punished for having excessive amounts of nitrate and selenium in their products.
Chinese dairy imports have exploded in recent years as the country's population becomes more affluent and looks for safer, higher quality food products than have previously been available domestically.
Food safety has been a big issue in China in the wake of the 2008 melamine milk scandal, in which more than 300,000 children fell sick and at least six died after consuming baby formula containing the industrial chemical.
The scandal sparked huge demand for organic and imported food, especially dairy products, which has been a huge boon for producers like New Zealand milk giant Fonterra.
The news comes as India's food regulator announced it would be extending its ban on milk and other dairy products imported from China for another year.
In other news, 20 people were arrested in Changsha, Hunan province, after netting over 3 billion yuan of illegally imported meat --- some of it up to 40 years old -- according to state media reports.