NAIROBI, December 1 – Kenya on Monday banned the importation of two milk products from South Africa.
Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) slammed the ban on baby formulas Nido and Lactogen after establishing that the two products contained melamine.
In a statement sent to newsrooms on Monday, KEBS Managing Director Kioko Mang’eli said investigations to establish the source and the quality of the two products had been initiated.
Mr Mang’eli also said that the earlier ban on importation of milk, eggs and their related products from China and other related countries was still in force.
“Kenya Bureau of Standards’ attention has been drawn to the effect that two products mentioned above imported from South Africa contain melamine,” read the brief statement.
This comes against the backdrop of an existing ban imposed on milk and dairy products from China in September; following reports the product contained the chemical, which is normally used to make plastics and that caused four deaths of infants in China and left over 50,000 children hospitalised.
It was discovered in Chinese-made dairy products, including milk powder, liquid milk and yoghurt.
According to media reports, the harmful chemical was in many reported cases added to watered-down milk to make it appear higher in protein, but led to kidney stones developing in the infants.
Despite the government ban 50 cartons of banned Chinese milk products weighing 2,276 kilograms were impounded in late October in the country at the port of Mombasa, against which Public Health Minister Beth Mugo ordered a reshipment to Shanghai, unopened.
The European Union (EU) also in late September stopped all imports of baby food containing traces of milk from China, and Hong Kong besides recalling two products found to contain melamine, including a brand of Heinz baby food.
Japan on the other hand (in September) ordered firms which import dairy products from China to test them for melamine after the chemical was found in four items made by one of its leading food makers.