The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has decided to extend the ban on milk and milk products from China for a further period of four months till April 23, 2019.
In its notification on Monday, it said, “Prohibition on import of milk and milk products including chocolates and chocolate products and candies/confectionery/food preparations with milk and milk solids as ingredients from China is extended for further period of four months i.e., up to April 23 or until further orders, whichever is earlier.”This ban was extended on the recommendation of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
In its advisory letter, the FSSAI stated that it had conducted a review meeting with the Departments and Ministries concerned on the issue earlier this month.
Post the review meeting, it recommended that this ban should be extended until notified laboratories at ports of entry across India are upgraded for testing for melamine. Accordingly, it recommended to the DGFT to extend the ban by four months.The DGFT, which is part of the Ministry of Commerce, had first imposed a ban on import of milk and milk products from China in September 2008 for a period of three months .
This was done to enable other departments put in place measures to restrict import of contaminated milk products in the country.This ban has since been extended several times, with the last being in June 22 till December 23, 2018. China’s dairy products have been under a cloud, since the milk scare incident nearly a decade ago, when milk and infant formula along with other food products were found contaminated with melamine.