Melamine Scare Spreads to Chinese Vegetables Exported to Australia

There are fears Chinese vegetables sold in Australia may be contaminated with melamine, the chemical which poisoned babies in Chine through tainted dairy products.

Australian food authorities are investigating reports of melamine contamination of vegetables and will complete a safety assessment.

Chinese products imported into Australia include fresh garlic and peas, frozen mixed vegetables, canned mushrooms and tomato paste.

The melamine scandal started in milk products, but international media reports have raised concerns some fruit and vegetables could also be contaminated with melamine from fertilizers or pesticides.

Lydia Buchtmann from Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) said Australian investigators were looking into the reports.

"We are taking this seriously," she said. "We're investigating that, talking to overseas agencies and doing a risk assessment."

Buchtmann said international media reports had raised concerns about Chinese mushrooms, tomatoes, potatoes, lettuce and watercress.

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