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The Nepali government is to lift the five-month long ban on the import of Chinese milk products after an international laboratory found that samples collected from different outlets in the country tested negative for melamine, local media reported on Friday.

The government had imposed a ban on imports of milk products from China on Sept. 24 last year after at least four toddlers died in China and thousands fell ill due to melamine contamination in baby formula and milk products.

On the recommendation of the Department of Food Technology and Quality Control (DFTQC), Nepal Rastra Bank, the central bank of the country, had directed all banks not to issue Letters of Creditfor the importing of Chinese milk products and baby formula.

"We will soon ease the ban on the import of Chinese milk products as the samples collected here were found melamine-free," Jeevan Prabha Lama, deputy director general of the Department on Friday.

Lama said import will be allowed only after conducting a test of items being imported. About 35 firms import Chinese milk products.

The DFTQC had a few months ago sent about one and a half dozen samples of Chinese milk products including chocolates, biscuits and toffees to the SDS laboratory in South India for chemical test and content analysis.

Meanwhile, the government has imported latest test equipment from Singapore's Romer Laboratory in a bid to upgrade the laboratory of the DFTQC for conducting sophisticated tests.



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