Chinese infant formula maker Synutra International said today (13 January) that government tests proved its products were not linked to the death of a child.

Claims surfaced on the Internet that a baby boy had died after drinking Synutra's milk. The mother of the boy told the Xinhua news agency that her son died in hospital after consuming the milk. The boy's twin sister also fell ill but survived.

In the wake of the reports, Synutra insisted the company's products were safe and said it would not recall any products despite claims the affected children had been drinking the company's formula for "weeks".

Chairman and CEO Liang Zhang said yesterday he was "not aware" of any plans to remove Synutra's products from stores except from the outlet where the affected infants' formula was bought.

"We have chosen to not recall any of our products because we are confident that they are safe," Zhang said. He added that local government officials in China's Jiangxi province, where the infants lived, were testing samples of the product from the affected family.

Synutra said today the government tests had shown the death of the male twin and sickness of his sister was "not due to food poisoning or related to food".

Zhang added: "We are gratified to learn that government testing has confirmed our own test results earlier today to show that our products are safe.  Given the turbulent history of China's dairy industry, we recognise our consumers are more focused than ever on product safety.

"As the government testing results reinforce, Synutra is a company dedicated to producing safe and high quality products to better safeguard the health and nutrition of infants in China."

Before Christmas, state officials uncovered raw milk made by Chinese dairy processor Mengniu Dairy contained excessive levels of a cancer-causing chemical. Mengniu said no products containing the milk reached store shelves.

Nevertheless, the contamination is the latest food safety scandal to rock Mengniu and the wider Chinese dairy sector. In 2008, Mengniu was one of a number of Chinese dairy processors that had products tested positive for melamine, an industrial chemical.

Milk products contaminated with melamine was linked to the deaths of at least six infants and thousands of illnesses.