The Vietnam Dairy Association on Monday rejected rumors that leeches had been found in milk imported from China.
Trinh Quy Pho, its general secretary, said some online forums, social media, and blogs have recently been saying that Chinese traders came to Vietnam to buy leeches, and the creatures were then ground and added to milk .
The rumors became widespread, with consumers in rural areas claiming that leeches had been found in milk and had grown inside human stomachs.
In Vietnam there is a pervasive belief that leeches can only be killed with lime.
The association said the rumors bewildered Vietnamese consumers and would badly affect milk producers.