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EU bans imports of powdered milk baby products from China

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BRUSSELS, September 26 (RIA Novosti) - The European Union introduced on Friday a ban on imports from China of all baby food products containing powdered milk, an EU spokeswoman said.

Four children have died in China and over 50,000 have been affected by melamine-tainted milk since early September, according to Chinese health authorities.

So far, over 20 countries have either banned or restricted imports of Chinese dairy products, including Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, and Japan. Safety checks of Chinese food products are continuing around the world.

EU health spokeswoman Nina Papadoulaki said that although the EU does not directly import dairy products or powdered milk from China, they are a component of some composite products, including chocolate and cookies.

A Hong Kong radio station reported on Friday that kidney stones, apparently caused by melamine-tainted Chinese milk, have been detected in three Taiwanese children.

The children - two three-year-old girls and a one-year-old boy - had been frequently travelling between Taiwan and China with their parents. The mother of one of the children has also been diagnosed with kidney stones. The link between Chinese melamine-tainted baby formula and the disease has yet to be confirmed by lab tests, however.

The radio station also said melamine had been discovered in baby nutrition made by the Heinz company, whose products have had to be withdrawn from stores.

Taiwan banned the import and sale of Chinese dairy products on September 18. The ban was later extended to Chinese-produced Nestle products.

Taiwanese Health Minister Lin Fang-yue resigned on Thursday over a mishandled withdrawal of melamine-tainted products.

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