Chinese White Rabbit Creamy Candies contaminated with melamine

New Zealand's Food Safety Authority has found the industrial chemical melamine in imported Chinese White Rabbit Creamy Candies and warned Wednesday that people should not eat them.

"This product contains sufficiently high levels of melamine which may, in some individuals, cause health problems such as kidney stones," deputy chief executive Sandra Daly said in a statement on the agency's Web site. "The levels we have found in these products are unacceptable."

Melamine is the chemical that has sickened thousands of Chinese children and touched off a new food scare after it began turning up in milk products.

People worried that they or their children may have eaten the sweets should seek medical advice, she added.

"This is a serious concern," Daly said. "We cannot discount the likelihood of health risks resulting from the consumption of these sweets."

The statement, which said several importers supplied the sweets, did not mention banning or confiscating any candy. Food Safety Authority officials could not be reached Wednesday night.

Tens of thousands of Chinese children have sought medical care and four infants have died because Chinese-made infant formula has been found to be contaminated by melamine, believed added to watered-down milk to make it appear higher in protein.

China's tainted milk scandal came to light after formula sold by up to 22 Chinese companies - including Sanlu Group Co., the Chinese partner of New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra - was found to be contaminated with melamine.

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