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Manufacturing giant recalls melamine tainted tea

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  • Unilever recalls four batches of Lipton Milk Tea sold in Hong Kong
  • Unilever Hong Kong describes it as a precautionary measure
  • Chinese milk products have been contaminated with melamine
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HONG KONG, China (CNN) -- Unilever is recalling four batches of Lipton Milk Tea sold in Hong Kong and Macau after finding traces of the chemical melamine in the product, the company said Tuesday.

Unilever Hong Kong Limited described it as a precautionary measure and said no other Lipton Milk Tea Powder products were affected.

The announcement came a day after British confectioner Cadbury said it has recalled all of its Chinese-made candy products after preliminary tests showed they contained trace amounts of melamine. Some of the products were exported to Taiwan, Hong Kong, Australia, Nauru and Christmas Island, according to the company.

They are the latest companies to get caught up in China's tainted milk scandal, which began earlier this month when authorities discovered melamine in powdered infant formula. Video Watch how scare affects companies outside China »

Contaminated milk has sickened nearly 53,000 children in China, killing four.

Countries around the world have since banned the import of Chinese products containing milk, or have withdrawn products that contain milk from China -- such as chocolates -- amid worries they contain melamine.

Authorities have arrested 40 people in connection with the milk scandal, including two brothers who could face the death penalty if convicted.

Investigators suspect people watered down milk in an attempt to sell more of it, and added melamine in order to fool quality checks, Chinese authorities have said. The toxic chemical is used to bolster apparent protein levels in diluted or poor-quality milk.

Others arrested include 19 managers of pastures, breeding farms and milk-purchasing stations. Chinese authorities have said those arrested were involved in a network that made and sold melamine.

Authorities have implicated 22 Chinese dairy companies in the scandal.

Melamine is the same industrial contaminant from China that poisoned and killed thousands of U.S. dogs and cats last year.

Health experts say ingesting melamine can lead to kidney stones, urinary tract ulcers, and eye and skin irritation. It also robs infants of much-needed nutrition.


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has said a company in Taiwan, the King Car Food Industrial Company, had recalled seven instant coffee and milk tea products that were sold in the United States under the Mr. Brown brand name. They contain a non-dairy creamer found to be contaminated with melamine.

The FDA also recommends that U.S. consumers not eat White Rabbit Creamy Candy, which in China has been found to contain unacceptable levels of melamine. The candy's maker, Guanshengyuan, has recalled its exports of White Rabbit Cream Candy.

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