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Numerous defective or tainted food products originating in China have been recalled in recent months. Among the recalls have been:

March 16: Menu Foods Inc. of Streetsville, Ontario, recalls 60 million cans and packages of pet food over concerns that the product poses a serious health threat to animals. Eventually, several U.S. pet food makers recall thousands of products contaminated in China with melamine, an organic compound used in plastics and flame-resistant materials.

May 23: Hong Chang Corp. of Santa Fe Springs, Calif., recalls 282 22-lb. boxes of monkfish, which originated in China and were distributed in California, Hawaii and Illinois, because the product may contain a deadly toxin.

June 1: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issues an import alert and warns consumers not to use any toothpaste manufactured in China, because it may contain a poisonous chemical used in antifreeze and as a solvent. Companies later issue voluntary recalls.

June 13: RC2 Corp. of Oak Brook, Ill., voluntarily recalls 1.5 million Thomas & Friends wooden toy trains because a factory in China coated them with lead paint.

June 25: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration orders tiny importer Foreign Tire Sales Inc. of Union, N.J., to recall up to 450,000 light truck tires made in China since 2002, because a defect could cause dangerous tread separation.

June 28: After an outbreak of 60 salmonella cases, mostly toddlers in 19 states, Robert's American Gourmet Food Inc. of Sea Cliff, N.Y., recalled its Veggie Booty snack food. Later, the salmonella was traced to a spice supplier in China, and the recall was expanded to the company's Super Veggie Tings Crunchy Corn Sticks.

Aug. 2: Mattel Inc. of El Segundo, Calif., recalls 83 Fisher-Price toy products, a total of 967,000 items made in China, because they are finished with lead paint.

Source: U.S. government agencies and affected companies