(Updates with food quality center’s statement in second paragraph.)
Feb. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Red Bull GmbH said its drinks don’t contain additives that are barred by the Chinese government after Carrefour SA removed all the Austrian energy-drink maker’s beverages from the company’s store-shelves in China.
The National Food Quality Supervision and Inspection Center’s checks on Red Bull samples showed the products met the national standards and didn’t contain unauthorized additives, according to a Sina report posted on the agency’s website. Red Bull also posted the agency’s statement on its website.
The Chinese government has stepped up efforts to crack down on food safety violations since six babies died and 300,000 others were sickened by formula milk tainted with melamine in 2008, in the nation’s worst food-related incident. Vice Premier Li Keqiang last week called for harsh punishments against food- safety violations and said China plans to establish a long-term mechanism to check food safety in 2012.
Carrefour took all Red Bull drinks off its shelves nationwide pending government test results, said a Beijing-based official at Carrefour, who asked not to be identified citing company policy. The French supermarket chain hasn’t decided when it will resume sale of the product, according to the official.
Four calls to Red Bull’s office in Beijing weren’t answered.
--Jiang Jianguo and Michael Wei. Editors: Stephanie Wong, Suresh Seshadri
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