September 16, 2008
Source of Article: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20080916.MILK16/TPStory/International
scandal expanded dramatically yesterday when
The public outrage was heightened by revelations that Chinese local authorities had known of the toxic milk and had refused to order a recall of the tainted formula, even after complaints in early August from a minority shareholder in the company that produced it.
as 10,000 infants may have consumed the contaminated milk powder, according to
a deputy minister in
The dairy company at the
centre of the scandal, Sanlu Group Co., is the
biggest producer of powdered milk formula in
Sanlu has recalled at least 8,000 tonnes of the milk formula. It has admitted that about 700 tonnes of the powder was contaminated.
"It's shocking," a senior Chinese official told the China Daily newspaper. "It's a crime against the people."
Chinese media have reported that some collecting stations were fraudulently adding water to the milk to increase its volume. Then they added melamine - an industrial chemical used in plastics - to the milk to make it seem higher in protein when it was tested by quality inspectors.
Melamine is rich in nitrogen, which is often measured as an indicator of protein levels. But the chemical can have serious health effects on humans. Many infants developed kidney stones and other complications after they drank the tainted milk.
is the same chemical that was added to pet-food ingredients in
scandals have proliferated in
dairy producer, Sanlu, is 43 per cent owned by Fonterra,
Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark said yesterday she first heard of the
problem on Sept. 5. Three days later, she ordered her officials to bypass the
local authorities and directly inform the central government in
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