CHINA TOXIC EGG SCANDAL SPREADS!
By Quentin Sommerville - BBC News, Beijing.
Three more Chinese brands of chicken's eggs have been found to contain high levels of the chemical melamine.
Tests in Hong Kong first revealed dangerously high levels of the substance in eggs from a mainland supplier earlier this week.
Officials were reportedly aware of the contamination a month earlier.
The growing scandal follows the discovery of melamine in Chinese milk, which has killed four children, and triggered product recalls across Asia.
Like the milk scandal before it, the contamination of China's egg supply appears to be far more widespread than first realised.
And as before, it seems that local officials on the mainland attempted to cover up news of the contamination.
A newspaper in Beijing reports that the sanitation department of Liaoning province, in the north-east, began investigating a local egg producer at the beginning of October.
It then ordered a ban on any media interviews.
Four babies died as a result of the milk scandal and thousands were made sick.
Despite a nationwide campaign to raise food safety standards and reassure consumers, the mainland's broken down food safety inspectorate is still failing to catch and report lapses in standards when they happen.
Hong Kong is stepping up its tests of mainland Chinese food products, and is asking China's help to trace the source of melamine contamination in eggs.
Testing of animal feed, chicken meat and eggs will also be introduced.
BBC NEWS REPORT.