Subjects: Asia news
In China two babies have died, 340 are hospitalized and more than 1,200 have been sickened by tainted milk powder.
China’s Ministry of Health confirmed that the formula was contaminated with melamine, the same substance that sickened thousands of US pets after they consumed tainted pet food imported from China last year. Melamine is normally used to make fertilizer and plastics. When added to food products, it falsely increases protein levels. Chinese regulators prohibited such uses of melamine in the aftermath of the pet food scandal.
The US does not import milk powder from China.
Chinese state media began reporting last March about an outbreak of problems possibly related to baby formula. Last week the Sanlu group, one of China’s largest dairy producers, admitted it was the source of the contaminated milk powder. It subsequently halted production and recalled the formula. Investigators think Sanlu may have known about the problem well before announcing its recall.
Li Changjiang, the Minister of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, recently inspected large bags of tainted milk powder that had been confiscated by police. “It’s shocking,” Mr. Li said to China Daily. “It’s a crime against the people.”