national customs authority on Thursday warned citizens to avoid food products imported from China,
pending tests for the dangerous chemical melamine, which has been found in a
number of Chinese products, including milk powder.
The warning comes as the authority, CamControl, was bolstering
efforts to monitor imports from China
in local markets nationwide, including pulling several
products from shelves.
Around 30 countries worldwide have begun recalling
products made with Chinese milk powder, suspected to be
contaminated with melamine, a chemical potentially fatal for children.
At least four Chinese babies have died after ingesting
melamine-laced milk products and 54,000 have been sickened, the Associated
Press reported Thursday.
Singaporean officials found melamine traces in three Chinese
products Thursday, including Cadbury candies, AP reported.
CamControl pulled some products from Phnom
Penh markets on Wednesday, including nearly 20,000 packages of
White Rabbit sweets, said Khlauk Choun, deputy
secretary-general of the agency.
"I've asked all levels of people, be careful not to eat
export products from China,
which are suspected of containing melamine," he said. "And I've distributed
samples of the products that have melamine in them."
CamControl officials have gone to markets around the country
posting examples of milk powder and other products as warnings to vendors and
"We cannot find out whether the [tainted] Chinese milk
powder has come into Cambodia
yet," he said. "But some products that are suspected, like Chinese milk
products, ice cream, chocolate, cake, or candy, including the popular Chinese
White Rabbit, we seized all of these products from stalls and from markets for
CamControl was "very concerned" that tainted Chinese milk
powder could be re-labeled in China
and exported to Cambodia.
"We aren't discriminating against Chinese food products," he
said, but the authorities were following a "risk profile" of potentially
"We are more focused on the food product from China than
before," he said. "We regard this as a priority."