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« on: Apr 12th, 2018, 3:53am »
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BEIJING, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- Chinese consumers have expressed mixed feelings after an industry association in China, in an effort to raise consumer confidence, released its first dairy quality report.
The Dairy Association of China (DAC) said in the report it compiled that the quality of domestic milk products has improved substantially, based on the results of 151,000 batches of diary products checked nationwide by the Ministry of Agriculture since 2009.
The report, which was published Tuesday, said 99.5 percent of dairy products checked last year were up to standard and no illegal additives, such as melamine, had been detected in fresh milk for the past seven consecutive years.
The improvement of quality in the milk industry has been made as China has taken several measures over the past years to regain public trust, including tightening supervision, shutting down unqualified dairy operations, and increasing policy support.
The country's milk industry has long been in the shadow of a high-profile 2008 safety scandal, when infant formula produced by Sanlu Group, then a leading dairy company in northern China's Hebei Province, was found to contain the chemical melamine, which killed six babies and left thousands seriously ill.
Following the incident, more contaminated milk products were discovered nationwide, prompting scared Chinese consumers to turn to overseas milk products, especially for infants.
Despite the official figures in improvement of domestically produced dairy products, however, the feelings of Chinese consumers remain mixed.
"I still will not buy Chinese milk powder for my baby," said Yang Yang, a new mother in Beijing. "My daughter drinks breast milk and I have stored some milk powder from Japan for her ... No one dares to risk their babies' lives to test the safety of Chinese milk products."
Wang Lei, another new mother in Beijing also said she would not choose Chinese baby milk products, as she thinks that imported baby milk products are easy to buy online and not too expensive.
While some remain skeptical, others say they have faith in domestic milk products.
Wang Jian, whose daughter is 3-year-old now, said she has always been a firm supporter of Chinese infant formula. Wang said her daughter had tried many products and the infant liked a Bright Diary formula most, a domestic brand based in Shanghai.
"I've also compared ingredients of both foreign and domestic infant formulas, and I believe the Chinese formula is the most suitable for Chinese babies," said Wang.
Li Xiaoli, a nurse from Hebei with an 18 day-old baby girl, said that so far she has fed the baby with breast milk but will choose domestic formula in the future if necessary. She said the official report released Tuesday has increased her confidence.
Wang Xianzhi, a food industry analyst at the Liaowang Institution, said the dairy quality report will be regularly released by the DAC and will serve as an important way for consumers to know more about the industry.
Wang said that although Chinese dairy product quality has improved dramatically since 2008, the situation was still challenging, and the biggest challenge lies not just in quality, but in consumer confidence.
Freelance dairy industry analyst Song Liang said that after eight years of recovery, the Chinese dairy industry is now ready to regain the trust of the public, but more efforts from the industry, government and media are needed to shore up market confidence.  
Sonja Muhlberger in her living room in Berlin Photo: Yin LuGT
Born on 26 October 1939 in Shanghai into a Jewish family , Sonja Muhlberger is what she would call an "ex-Shanghailander."  
To escape Nazi persecution during the Second World War (1939-45), Jews from Germany and Austria fled overseas. During that time, Japanese-occupied Shanghai was the last safe haven for many , since they didn't require visas to get there.
Muhlberger's parents, who were expecting her at the time, were among the many Jewish refugees who arrived at Shanghai's port for a chance at a new life. After the war , most people went to the US, Canada or Australia, and some returned to Europe. Only about 500 to 600 chose to return to Germany.  
At her home in a quiet neighborhood in Koepenick , in the southeast of Berlin, Muhlberger showed the Global Times an album filled with pictures of her in China, and also shared her life story as a Shanghai-born Jewish refugee. It's clear from the photos of old Shanghai streets that China makes up an important part of her life.
The ex-Shanghailanders
During their occupation of Shanghai , Japanese forces made the Jewish refugees live in the poorest area of the city, which would come to be known as the "Shanghai Ghetto."
Life there was difficult, but it made her and others stronger. "I would like to say that in the 1940s , those people lived in that place peacefully and in harmony with all those who were around us," she said. "I think it's meaningful."  
"Sometimes I like to cook in the Chinese way. And then when I visited Shanghai, I felt at home ," she said.
In 1998, she was invited by a Chinese artist back to Shanghai to make a documentary, and was able to visit a couple more times after that.
Over the years , Muhlberger has received letters and e-mails from many "ex-Shanghailanders" and their families.
"People count their family members who were born after that," she said. "For me, I have two children and four grandchildren. You have to count how many people are on the way because we could survive."
Muhlberger and many other "ex-Shanghailanders" want to make sure that their history continues to be written today.
At the Shanghai Jewish Refugee Museum , which was built on the grounds of the former Ohel Moshe Synagogue in Hongkou district, stands a memorial wall of n.
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