メラミン汚染牛乳

(Sep. 24, 2008) The Yomiuri Shimbun
Tighten inspections on China-made food
メラミン牛乳 中国産食品の検疫を厳格に(9月24日付・読売社説)

It is hard to believe that a mildly toxic chemical could get mixed in with milk. But this is exactly what happened in yet another food scandal in China.
 牛乳の中に有害な化学物質を混ぜるとは、にわかには信じがたい出来事だ。またしても中国の食品である。

Several babies died, and tens of thousands of children reportedly have been sickened in the country, after consuming powdered milk tainted with melamine.
 中国では有害物質「メラミン」を含んだ粉ミルクが原因で乳児が死亡し、何万人もの子どもが健康被害を訴えている。

Adding melamine to milk can make it appear to be richer in protein, and Chinese dairy producers allegedly "supplemented" protein levels in milk by adding melamine to it after the milk was diluted with water.
 メラミンを混ぜると、蛋白(たんぱく)質を多く含む牛乳のように見せかけられる。酪農業者が原乳を水増しした後、薄まった蛋白質をメラミンで“補って”いたらしい。

This latest tainted food scandal has not been confined to China's shores.
 隣国だけの問題ではない。

Although barely any fresh milk or other dairy products are imported from China, a substantial volume of processed foods made using Chinese milk already have entered the Japanese market.
中国の牛乳や乳製品は日本にほとんど輸入されていないものの、牛乳を原料とする加工食品の形では、かなり入り込んでいる。

Marudai Food Co., a leading manufacturer of ham and sausages based in Takatsuki, Osaka Prefecture, voluntarily announced Saturday that some of its products contained milk contaminated with melamine, and started recalling items already on the market.
 菓子などに使用していた丸大食品は自主的に公表し、商品の回収を始めた。

According to the company, the amount of tainted milk used in the products was extremely small, and so far there have not been any reports of people being sickened after consuming them. It does not appear the widespread health problems in China will be replicated in Japan.
 同社によれば、使用された牛乳は微量で、これまでのところ健康被害の報告はない。中国で懸念される状況が、そのまま日本で生じるわけではないだろう。

However, concerns among consumers will continue to grow as long as they are not able to distinguish between products that contain milk tainted with the chemical and those that do not.
 だが、問題のある牛乳がどのような商品に使われているのか、全く分からない状況では、消費者の不安は膨らむ。

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Time to tighten up checks

It is important that all of the concerned food production companies quickly grasp what is going on and announce the results of these investigations as soon as possible.
 関連する食品メーカーは、実態調査を急ぎ、すべてを迅速に公表することが重要だ。

It also is necessary to review the way in which imported foods are dealt with at quarantine stations. At present, inspectors look only for pesticide residues and bacteria, not chemical contamination.
 検疫のあり方も見直しが必要である。現状は、残留農薬や細菌の有無を調べることが目的で、化学物質の混入を想定していない。

Many cats and dogs died last year in the United States after eating pet food containing ingredients made in China. The culprit was found to be melamine. Yet Japanese quarantine authorities have not added melamine to their list of substances to be inspected for. This relaxed attitude toward potential chemical contamination must be abandoned and the possibility of such contamination must be assumed when checking imported foods.
 昨年、米国で中国製原料のペットフードを食べた犬や猫が多数死んだ問題は、やはりメラミンが原因だった。にもかかわらず、メラミンを検査項目に加えていなかった。化学物質は想定外、との甘い姿勢は改めねばなるまい。

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China withholding information?

The latest food contamination scandal only surfaced after the Beijing Olympics had finished. Suspicions have been raised that the Chinese government might have suppressed revelations about the damage done, even though the effects were known about for quite some time, out of concern over the possible impact the scandal might have had on the Games.
 今回の問題は北京五輪が閉幕してから顕在化した。健康被害の訴えはかなり以前からあったのに、五輪への影響を考えて公表を抑えていたのではないか、との疑念をぬぐえない。

The World Health Organization also said somebody obviously withheld information on the scandal. It is interesting to note that a major dairy products manufacturer that sold milk powder containing melamine was one of the sponsors of the Beijing Olympics.
 世界保健機関(WHO)も「誰かが一定期間、情報を隠していたことは明白だ」との見解を示している。メラミン入り粉ミルクを販売した大手乳製品メーカーは、五輪のスポンサー企業だった。

In addition, the truth about the problem of tainted Chinese-made frozen gyoza in Japan has not yet been clarified. The government should urge China more strongly to improve the safety of Chinese-made foods and to disclose information on food contamination quickly.
 冷凍ギョーザ事件も、真相はいまだに究明されていない。中国に対して日本政府は、もっと厳しく事態の改善を求め、迅速な情報開示を要求すべきである。

Meanwhile, a series of food safety scandals also have been occurring in Japan, including pesticide- and mold-tainted rice designated by the government as suitable only for industrial use being sold for human consumption.
 一方で、日本においても事故米が不正転用されるなど、食をめぐる不祥事が相次いでいる。

Concerned ministries, agencies and the food industry must thoroughly investigate these problems originating in our own country. Failure to do so will undermine Japan's ability to blame China for shortcomings on food safety.
中国に毅然(きぜん)としてモノを言うためにも、関係官庁、食品業界は足元を総点検し、襟を正す必要があろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 24, 2008)
(2008年9月24日02時11分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2008-09-24 12:14 | 英字新聞

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