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Soy boost after melamine scare

By Sarah Hills , 20-Oct-2008

Companies are spying opportunities to market soy based products as a replacement to dairy following the melamine milk crisis that hit China and echoed across the globe.

The US-based health and wellness company, ISI Brands/Twinlab, said it will be introducing a new soy protein drink supplement to China, “urgently addressing” the melamine scare by offering it as an alternative to Chinese dairy products.

In addition the supplement will be distributed in the US which has also been hit with product recalls as a result of the contamination crisis which was linked to the death of four children.

Greg Grochoski, chief science officer, ISI Brands said: "As a health and wellness leader, it is our obligation to answer the call when urgencies occur. The Twinlab Children's Soy Protein drink will serve as an important supplement to nursing females, children and the whole family.

“The drink is an excellent USA-sourced supplement for Chinese families to confidently replace their current dairy proteins."

Twinlab Corporation manufactures and markets more than 1200 different nutritional supplements.

Meanwhile another company, China Yingxia International Inc, is promoting the benefits of its soy milk products over cow’s milk.

Yingxia Jiao, CEO of China Yingxia, said: "Our promotional strategy involves focusing on the unique benefits of our soy- based products compared to dairy products.

“With the recent scandal involving contaminated cow's milk in China, Chinese consumers will evaluate their current consumption behavior and actively seek to secure a safe and healthy diet.

“China Yingxia's soy milk products are a prospective choice for many consumers because of their exceptional quality."

The company manufactures and distributes nutritional food products, dietary supplements and raw cactus plants in the People's Republic of China.

Its soy milk products are made of organic soybeans and it boasts that its vertically integrated production process and quality control measures enable it to certify the safety of the end product.

Contaminated milk

Four infants in China are reported to have died as a result of consuming baby milk contaminated with the industrial chemical melamine, which can be used to boost the apparent protein content. About 54,000 children were sickened with kidney stones and other renal failure.

The fall-out from the melamine crisis has prompted manufacturers to be super careful about sourcing safe ingredients, according to industry experts.

Similarly, major manufacturers using milk powder, including Cadbury and Unilever, have withdrawn some products from sale. Other melamine-linked recalls include the popular Chinese sweet White Rabbit.

Companies have taken swift action to reassure consumers of the safety of their products, among them Hershey, which issued a statement saying that it has never purchased milk ingredients, including powered milk, from China.

Health warnings

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned consumers not to eat any flavors of White Rabbit candy imported from China. It has also issued a public warning that infant formula manufactured in China may not be safe because of concerns over melamine contamination.

FDA alerted consumers that seven Mr Brown instant coffee and milk tea products manufactured in China were being recalled by the King Car Food Industrial Co, due to possible contamination with melamine. The products are manufactured by China’s Shandong Duqing Inc.

It advised that caregivers should refrain from using Chinese-made formula and replace it with “an appropriate infant formula manufactured in the United States”.

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