China’s food and drug watchdog has ordered 51 makers of baby formula to stop production after they failed to renew their production permits, Xinhua reported Friday.
Another 82 manufacturers — mostly domestic brands — gained the necessary renewals to continue output, the report said. Several foreign brands, including Dumex, Wyeth, Abbott, made it onto the China Food and Drug Administration’s approved list.
The renewal process is part of the administration’s revised system for assessing production equipment, safety, product tracking, and the purchase of raw materials. It was introduced in December to put formula manufacturers on par with pharmaceutical companies.
Infant formula is generally more expensive in China than elsewhere and a flood of domestic and foreign players are competing for market share. Parents have showed a preference for foreign brands after their confidence in the safety of local products was shattered by the 2008 milk contamination scandal.
In the past year, the regulator checked 2,698 baby formula products from 86 enterprises in 22 provinces and “did not find unqualified samples”, Xinhua quoted administration official Ma Chunliang as saying.
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