By Ben Blanchard
In the Communist Party newspaper the People's Daily,
China's latest food safety problem, involving the addition of the industrial chemical melamine to milk to cheat in quality tests, has caused public outrage and put the spotlight back on deficiencies in industry oversight and weak regulatory bodies.
"Please can the government increase control and coordination of the media, to create a good environment for the recall of the company's problem products," the People's Daily cited the letter from Sanlu as saying.
"This is to avoid whipping up the issue and creating a negative influence in society," it added.
This week, Reporters Without
"Several Chinese journalists have said that it is becoming more and more obvious that the authorities in July prevented an investigation into the toxic milk coming out so as not to tarnish China's image before the Olympics," it said in a statement.
Thousands of children fell ill after drinking the milk, and four died. But the rush of people taking their children to hospital for check-ups appears to be slowing, Xinhua news agency said.
"The work involved with offering free check-ups has
turned from an emergency situation to normal," it quoted Wen Honghai,
Countries around the world have banned Chinese dairy imports, or ordered them to be taken off shelves, as it became clear yoghurt and other products were also affected. Scores of foreign companies have been forced to recall products made with Chinese dairy ingredients, or to reassure customers their goods are safe.
Dairy sales in
"Generally speaking, the sales situation for dairy products around the country has taken a turn for the better," he said.
"Yet it was not until September 9 that it was reported
the attempted cover-up. Wang said the city government had not considered the consequences of their actions.
"We mistakenly thought that taking necessary measures and raising product quality could mitigate the effect and reduce losses," he said.
"The bungling of the best opportunity to report up the handling of the issue caused much harm to people's safety, and seriously affected the image of the Party and the government," Wang added. He also expressed "deep guilt and pain" for the scandal. 10-1-08
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