Oz Dairy Tampers Expiry Dates, China’s CCTV Claims

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By Athena Yenko | March 19, 2014 2:07 PM EST

Oz Dairy, an Australian milk company which exports baby formula globally, was accused of tampering expiry dates on cans of baby formulas.

The accusation was made by China Central Television's (CCTV) 15 Gala, a show televised yearly on March 15 as a commemoration of World Consumer Rights Day.

The show, 15 Gala, particularly called for state media's responsibility to expose erring foreign and Chinese companies. The show aims to provoke the government to go after the companies after an expose'.

According to the program, Oz Dairy is guilty of tampering expiry dates of approximately 20,000 cans of baby formulas, extending the expiration date by a year. The host said that a Chinese distributor found the tampering before the products were rolled out for selling.

Oz Dairy denied the accusation.

Speaking with ABC, Oz Dairy Managing Director Christopher Murfett said that their products were within dates and that the erroneous expiry labels were honest mistakes. He said that dairy products from Australia are the best in the world and coverage similar to what CCTV will not just affect the company, but could affect Australian milk industry as a whole.

"The infant formula hasn't expired. It's simply a print mistake on a label. We're sincerely apologising to the China government and the China community. Unfortunately, it happened through a process through the factory. We've addressed it and we've made sure that [it] can't happen again. It's certainly put a dampener on our product itself for the Oz Milko brand," Mr Murfett said.

For its part, Oz Dairy recalled 20,000 cans from China and targets to export replacements with proper expiry labels.

Australia's milk export grew when a melamime scare affected China's dairy industry. In 2008, a Chinese company was accused of deliberately putting chemical melamime into their milk which caused the death of 6 children among the 300,000 people poisoned.

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