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Fears about food import surveillance -

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LISA MILLAR: The peak body representing Australian confectionery manufacturers will this afternoon
publish a list on its website of lollies and chocolates that they're sure are free from
contaminated Chinese milk.

The move follows the chocolate giant Cadbury's decision to recall bags of Chocolate Eclairs which
have been imported from China, after tests raised doubts about their safety.

The contaminated milk crisis has shone a light on the way Australia manages food contamination
concerns and has prompted calls for a re-think.

Critics say it's foolish to leave it up to the manufacturers to verify their products' safety.

Ashley Hall compiled this report.

JOHN CUMMINGS: There is nobody in Australia who is checking imported product to see if it is made
in a healthy way.

ASHLEY HALL: John Cummings is the Chairman of the National Association of Retail Grocers of
Australia representing independent supermarkets and grocers. He has a startling admission.

JOHN CUMMINGS: We've got no assurances that any product that's imported into this country is
manufactured in clean factories with product that is good for consumers.

ASHLEY HALL: Last week, the food safety regulator warned Australian shoppers to be wary of some
milk-based lollies imported from China.

Then last night, the chocolate giant Cadbury withdrew its Chocolate Eclairs from sale, when tests
raised doubts about the safety of the China-made lollies.

TIM ALLERTON: You know people will be starting to wonder about what is going into the chocolates.
For a product that's always considered a safe and enjoyable product and used a reward whether for
yourself or for others, people will start to be a bit worried about it I guess.

ASHLEY HALL: Tim Allerton is the general manager of Australian Chocolate, a Sydney-based company
that promotes itself as all-Australian.

TIM ALLERTON: Australian products, I know when we're talking to people overseas are considered to
be extremely safe. So it's the nature of our country, the strict standards we have here in
agriculture, the great climate we have you know is conducive to good quality products.

ASHLEY HALL: And he says there are health inspectors to make sure manufacturers are following
strict regulations.

Food safety is not something many confectionery manufacturers are keen to talk about.

Cadbury, Campbell Arnott's, Kraft, Nestle and Mars all declined to take part in this report.

They did each send a statement, explaining that most of their products are made using Australian
ingredients.

But the National Retail Grocers Chairman John Cummings says it's often hard to tell.

JOHN CUMMINGS: I think the labelling could go a lot further. It needs to be simpler, it needs to be
clearer and it needs to tell consumers what they want to know.

ASHLEY HALL: He says that means clearly indicating where a product is manufactured and the origin
of its ingredients.

JOHN CUMMINGS: Certainly there is a brand of biscuits Kraft Oreos that are made in China. And they
are a cream centred biscuit. Do they contain milk products? I don't know. Nobody knows.

ASHLEY HALL: For the record, Kraft says it manufactures Oreos in China under strict supervision,
using mostly Australian ingredients.

Trish Hyde is the chief executive of Confectionery Manufacturers of Australasia, which represents
about 80 companies, big and small.

She says most Australian manufacturers use local dairy products because it's cheap and readily
available.

And if you're still concerned about the safety of your favourite chocolate bar, she has this
reassurance.

TRISH HYDE: The likelihood of the tainted imported product being in Australian confectionary is
virtually nil, but we understand that of course consumers want more assurety than that so we're
actually asking members to provide lists of products that are free from contamination and we'll be
placing that on our website today.

ASHLEY HALL: As for questions about who should be checking the quality of food imports, the
spokeswoman for the regulator Food Standards Australia and New Zealand, Lydia Buchtmann says the
situation is well in hand

LYDIA BUCHTMANN: Oh look we've got a very good system here with reputations on the line of course
so certainly companies would be very silly is they were hiding it. But certainly we have spoken to
the major ones a lot of the minor ones.

The states and territories are out there doing similar things and companies of course are doing
their own testing just to make doubly sure and nothing has come up as yet. We're very lucky to live
in Australia with a good regulatory system on something as major as this everyone's been working
very closely together.

LISA MILLAR: That's Lydia Buchtmann, a spokeswoman for Food Standards Australia and New Zealand,
ending Ashley Hall's report. And you can find the list of safe confectionery this afternoon at
www.candy.net.au