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Misleading production dates put on milk boxes

[ 2009-06-11 13:19]     字号 [] [] []  
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A well-known milk manufacturer in Guangzhou has come under fire for altering the production date on its milk cartons to make them appear fresher, the local quality watchdog said yesterday.

During a surprise raid on the Xiangmanlou Milk Company's Guangzhou office on June 2, officials of the quality and technological supervision bureau found over 9,400 cartons of papaya milk and strawberry yoghurt with incorrect dates. The products were produced the same day but the production date printed on them was that of the next day, June 3.

All the boxes of milk, as well as over 37,000 other milk cartons, which were not marked with production dates, have been "sealed and confiscated", the bureau said.

"We have sealed up and confiscated the milk products, valued at over 100,000 yuan ($14,700)," it said.

The bureau had said on Tuesday that the confiscated milk products "did not have any quality problems".

The Xiangmanlou Milk Company declined to comment yesterday.

Experts believe this is not an isolated case and "several other firms in the country adopt similar tricks to fool the consumer".

Wang Dingmian, a consultant of the Guangdong dairy industry association, defended milk manufacturers, saying they had "no other option".

"The procedure of producing, packing and transporting fresh milk takes a couple of days. If a producer marks the real production date on the boxes, his products won't seem fresh in the market.

"Milk remains fresh for a few days if stored cool. But most consumers don't buy milk produced the previous day," he said. "In order to sell their products, milk producers always mark the production date a day later, well aware that it's illegal."

As of yesterday, Xiangmanlou's milk products were still available in the market.

Guangzhou's quality and technology supervision bureau has not yet ordered supermarkets to remove the firm's products from shelves.

A number of customers said they would continue buying the firm's products as long as there were no quality issues.


1. What two products were found to have incorrect dates during the surprise raid?

2. How much were the confiscated milk products worth?

3. How long does milk remain fresh for if stored cool?


1. Papaya milk and strawberry yoghurt.

2. Over 100,000 yuan ($14,700).

3. A few days.

(英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Misleading production dates put on milk boxes

About the broadcaster:

Misleading production dates put on milk boxes

Nancy Matos is a foreign expert at China Daily Website. Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Nancy is a graduate of the Broadcast Journalism and Media program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Her journalism career in broadcast and print has taken her around the world from New York to Portugal and now Beijing. Nancy is happy to make the move to China and join the China Daily team.