Chinese imports banned amid tainted milk scandal

HONG KONG (AP) -- At least a dozen countries have banned Chinese dairy products amid fears over a widening tainted milk scandal that's left four Chinese babies dead and thousands more sick.

Several additional countries are stepping up testing of Chinese imports. Many are worried that the tainted ingredients may have contaminated other foods like yogurts, cookies and candies.

Asian hospitals have been swamped with nervous parents looking for health checkups. The panic comes days after China announced that baby formula laced with the industrial chemical melamine (MEL'-uh-meen) has killed four babies and sickened 54,000.

The chemical is used to make plastics and fertilizer. It can cause kidney stones and lead to kidney failure.

The countries that have placed at least partial bans on Chinese dairy imports or foods that may contain milk are: Bangladesh, Brunei, Colombia, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Burundi, Kenya and Gabon.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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