India today extended the ban on import of milk and milk products from China for another year, until 23 December 2011, according to the foreign trade office.
The directorate general of foreign trade (DGFT) in the commerce ministry notified the ban, which is effective from 24 December 2010.
Imports of milk and milk products from China have been prohibited since September 2008, (See: India bans Chinese milk products as WHO expresses concern) and the DGFT, in June 2010, had further extended the ban for another six months. (See: India extends ban on Chinese milk products over melamine fears)
The items prohibited for import into India from the neighbouring country would include chocolate and chocolate products, candies, confectioneries and food preparations with milk as an ingredient.
Though the DGFT has not cited any reason for the ban, it is understood that it was over fears of Chinese milk containing melamine, a deadly chemical.
The Chinese milk scandal of 2008 had claimed six infants and hospitalised more than 50,000 after being fed contaminated milk powder, when Chinese local authorities ignored warnings by Fonterra, the New Zealand-based minority shareholder of the Chinese manufacturer, Sanlu, about the adulteration. Sanlu had refused to recall the product.