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Wednesday, 17 September 2008

The Chinese government has admitted that three infants have died and over 6,000 are sick as a crisis over contaminated baby milk spread nationwide.

Six thousand babies sick from tainted Chinese milk
Article in the Telegraph


"Almost 160 babies are now suffering from "acute kidney failure" as the scandal over the poisoned milk continues to grow.

More than one-fifth of China's powdered baby milk producers have been found to have been using melamine, an industrial chemical more commonly found in plastics and glues, to bulk up their milk.

Melamine makes milk appear richer in protein but causes kidney stones to form in infants. China has already been accused of covering up the crisis in order to save face during the Olympic Games after it emerged that officials had known about the problems eight weeks ago.

Although the government has insisted that "the milk powder produced by most companies is safe", panicky parents crowded hospitals, especially families using Sanlu, the most toxic brand.

At the Shanghai Children's Hospital in the central Jing'an district, a nurse said over 700 parents had brought their children in to be tested. It had only been half a day since news broke that the scandal was not confined to Hebei, Jiangsu and Gansu provinces, as originally thought.

Although wealthy Shanghainese parents rarely use Chinese milk powder, preferring more trustworthy foreign brands, the scandal had severely affected the city's migrant workers, who tend to be poorer and uneducated"

"The list of producers caught up in the scandal includes some of China's largest dairy groups, such as Yili, an official sponsor of the Beijing Olympics, and Mengniu, the country's largest milk company. Mengniu has started a recall of some of its lines. Powdered baby milk is now a Pounds1.8 billion industry in China."

"The scandal comes after the "big-headed babies" incident in Anhui in 2004, when 13 babies died after being fed milk with little nutritional value."

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