Cadbury Recalls Chocolates Over Tainted Milk

British chocolate maker ordered a recall of its Chinese-made products after saying tests 'cast doubt' on their safety.

HONG KONG (AP) -- British candy maker Cadbury said Monday it is recalling 11 types of Chinese-made chocolates found to contain melamine, as police in northern China raided a network accused of adding the banned chemical to milk.

A Cadbury spokesman said it was too early to say how much of the chemical was in the chocolates made at its Beijing plant.

"It's too early to say where the source was or the extent of it," said the spokesman, who declined to be identified because of company policy.

The company said its dairy suppliers were cleared by government testing.

But American candy companies Mars and Hershey say their candy is safe to eat.

The Hershey Co. said Monday it has never purchased milk ingredients, including powdered milk, from China.

Mars North America said in a statement that its operations in China do not get any ingredients from companies found to be selling melamine-contaminated dairy products. It says the Chinese food-safety agency tested samples of Mars China's milk powder suppliers and found them to be free of melamine.

Mars makes Snickers and M&Ms. Hershey makes Hershey's Kisses and Reese's brands.

Meanwhile, police in Hebei province arrested 22 people and seized more than 480 pounds of the industrial chemical in the raids, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

The report said the melamine was produced in illicit plants and sold to breeding farms and purchasing stations.

Xinhua said 19 of the 22 detainees were managers of pastures, breeding farms and purchasing stations. It did not say when the raids took place.

The scandal broke this month when authorities said infant formula produced by Sanlu was causing kidney stones in babies and young children. Four infants have died and some 54,000 have become ill after drinking the contaminated baby formula.

Subsequent tests revealed melamine contamination in products ranging from yogurt to candy to pastries.

Authorities believe suppliers added melamine, which is rich in nitrogen, to watered-down milk to deceive quality tests for protein.

Cadbury said the 11 recalled chocolate products were distributed in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Australia.

U.S. companies Kraft Foods Inc. and Mars Inc. said they would adhere to a recall order of Chinese-made Oreos, M&Ms and Snickers in Indonesia, but said they wanted to conduct their own tests with outside experts.

So far only a local agency has checked the products for melamine, but the levels found were considered very high.

"We have asked our trade partners and retailers to suspend the sales of our products in accordance to the agency's order," Mars Indonesia spokesman Bondan Ardi said.

Hong Kong supermarket chain PARKnSHOP also pulled its Chinese-made Oreo, M&M and Snickers products as a precaution, spokeswoman Pinky Chan said.

Countries around the world have removed items containing Chinese milk ingredients from store shelves or banned them outright.

Authorities in China had previously arrested at least 18 people and detained more than two dozen suspects in connection with the scandal.

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