The Ministry of Public Security's environment police said Wednesday they have found nearly 5,000 tons of expired milk illegally buried at a dumping site in the southern province of Binh Duong.
The milk, together with many toxic and industrial waste, was buried at the waste dumping site belonging to the Nam Binh Duong Waste Treatment Factory instead of being treated as regulated.
Initial investigations show that FrieslandCampina, formerly known as Dutch Lady Vietnam, had contracted the factory to treat some 15,500 tons of milk within four weeks since May 10.
Under the VND20-billion-plus (US$1.1 million) contract signed on May 3, the factory had to treat the milk at its wastewater treatment plant, and burn containers after separating milk and containers at the Dutch-owned company's Mapletree storage facility.
Jan Wegnnar, production manager of the Dutch-owned company, said they placed guards and set up cameras at the storage facility 24/7, so it was shocking to know that the milk was buried in its containers at the dumping site.
At a meeting on Thursday, Nguyen Van Thien, director of Binh Duong Water Supply - Sewerage - Environment Company which manages the factory, said it was a mistake in procedures, because they had to treat a huge amount of milk within a short time.
Also at the meeting, Binh Duong's authorities ordered the factory to treat the milk in accordance with standard procedures.
The factory was allowed to continue treating the milk as contracted and under the supervision of the environment department, health department and the PC36 division.
Samples of the expired milk have also been taken for further tests, officials said.