- Burkina Faso has joined its African peers announcing a ban on all imports and sales of Chinese diary products following reports of tainted milk scandal.
Burkinabe government has joined Burundi, Gabon and Tanzania, becoming fourth African country to take such action, despite being one of the world's poorest countries.
Government has stated that decision was taken because of heath risk posed by these products to consumers and warned that all infractions will penalised.
"It is a precautionary measure to safeguard the health of Burkinabe consumers," Mamadou Sanou, minister of commerce, said.
Burkina Faso imported 10 301 tons of milk and dairy products from abroad in 2007 though official data cannot confirm how much of these imports where from China.
World Health Organization (WHO) today warned more deaths could still occur from China's toxic milk scandal that has already reporetedly sickened 53,000 children and killing four infants from digesting chemical melamine which is normally used to make plastics.
When melamine is added to milk it can appear to be richer in protein, it is reported.
"There could be more deaths detected but we don't believe it will be a high number," said WHO representative in China Hans Troedsson.
He added that he expected some more recalls of products to occur along with cases of sickened infants, saying "I think we will still see some more cases, but maybe not the high number we have seen so far."
Makers of popular White Rabbit candy have also announced that they had halted domestic sales after its products were found to contain melamine today.
European Union also joined a growing list of nations and regions to ban or restrict imports of milk products from China, leaving Asia's biggest exporter facing one of greatest challenges ever to its reputation.
"From what we know, Chinese central government and Ministry of Health have acted appropriately since early September when central government went public with this issue," said Mr Troedsson.
WHO has however also urged consumers against barring infant formula altogether, saying not all brands were contaminated by melamine, which is normally used to make fertilisers and plastics and is toxic when consumed at high levels.
"It is also critical to ensure that there is sufficient supply of safe infant formula to meet needs of infants who are not breastfed," said director of WHO's food safety department Jorgen Schlundt.
"That's why it is very important that we don't just say all powdered infant formula is really dangerous, because it is not," he said.
Reports of contaminated milk products send shivers of alerts across the globe, especially with African states which have in recent years saw increased trade with China.
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