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Sunday, March 30, 2008

China Bans Imports Of Italian Mozzarella Cheese.

March 30 (Bloomberg) -- China ordered a ban on imports of Italian mozzarella cheese after Italy recalled the buffalo milk used to make the cheese on concerns it may be tainted with dioxin.

``All entry and exit ports should not handle quarantine applications for the Italian-made mozzarella,'' the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said in a statement on its Web site.

Italy announced on March 28 a recall of cheese from 25 buffalo herds after tests revealed levels of dioxin, a carcinogenic and disease-causing byproduct of herbicides, which exceeded the legal European Union limit.

The Chinese administration asked importers to stop sales of the cheese and recall products that had been sold, the statement said. All kinds of cheese products from Italy must go through laboratory tests before they are allowed to enter the country, the administration said.

France halted mozzarella sales on Friday, and later lifted the ban after Italian authorities satisfied the European Union by recalling the products, according to a statement by Agriculture Minister Michel Barnier.

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