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Chinese manufacturers of animal feed will face tougher inspections following
Chinese manufacturers of animal feed will face tougher inspections following the discovery of melamine-tainted eggs in China, the country's agriculture ministry said on Saturday.

Food safety officials in Hong Kong reported last week that they had found melamine in eggs produced in the northeastern port city of Dalian and in the central Hubei province.

The melamine level of 3.1 milligrams per kg was well above the permitted level of 2.5 milligrams per kg. Further checks revealed that melamine-tainted eggs were also being sold in the eastern Zhejiang province.

It is believed that the melamine contamination of eggs could be caused by tainted poultry feed

"The ministry will tighten its supervision of the feed industry and crack down on producers who add melamine to their products," the China Daily newspaper quoted an agriculture ministry official as saying.

Lat year, melamine was found in wheat gluten and rice protein concentrate exported from China and used in the manufacture of pet food in the U.S. The tainted animal feed was responsible for deaths of hundreds cats and dogs in the U.S.

"Producers violating the rule will face severe punishment: They could have their business licenses stripped or face criminal charges," Wang said.

Since early September, when melamine was found in baby formula, the agriculture ministry has sent more than 369,000 inspectors to some 250,000 animal feed producers, and 238 companies were closed down over melamine-related violations. Some 3,682 tons of substandard feed were confiscated and destroyed.


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