China vows to clean up dairy industry, more children ill
Source of Article: http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5jgvvOLjDHNvC7dHJQCjSbez9sWaA
BEIJING (AFP) —
Prime Minister Wen Jiabao presided over a meeting of the cabinet, which called for immediate efforts to clean up the nation's "chaotic" dairy industry as more than 5,000 food safety inspectors were deployed, state press said.
"The direct cause of this incident is illegal production, greed and ignoring of people's lives," the cabinet said in a statement after the meeting, according to the official Xinhua news agency.
The cabinet said every effort should be made to "restore the reputation of the nation's food industry, enhance consumer confidence and ensure public health."
So far, the tainted milk has sickened more than 53,000 children and exposed the nation's lax food safety standards -- leading to import curbs on some Chinese products in countries around the world.
Melamine, when added to watered-down milk, makes it appear to be richer in protein than it is.
In the capital
A health ministry spokesman suggested the number of children affected with kidney stones, caused by ingesting melamine, could go up.
"We have the latest number of cases around the nation," he told AFP, "but for the time being, we are not releasing it to the public and the press." He refused to give a reason.
The dairy inspectors will check how raw materials and food additives are used, supervise sample testing and do quality control, the People's Daily said.
State media meanwhile urged authorities to dole out harsher penalties for those implicated in the milk scandal and in any other future food safety concern.
"From this and many other previous scandals, we see a need for the authorities to be harsher toward violators," the China Daily said in an editorial.
The newspaper said the government should come up with stern measures to teach businesses the "significance of being honest."
So far, at least 27 people have been arrested over the scandal, according to previous Xinhua reports.
Six suspects were detained over the weekend in northern
The Beijing News called for the public to play a part in supervising food safety.
"It is only with the eagerness of public supervision that one can make up for the potential oversight of government monitoring and the unreliability of companies' self-discipline," the paper said in an editorial.
The milk scandal continued to make waves around the world, with a number
of countries banning or restricting milk products from
The European Union recently banned all imports of Chinese milk-related products for children such as biscuits and chocolate on top of a long-standing embargo on Chinese dairy products like milk and yoghurt.
Copyright (C) All rights reserved under FoodHACCP.com
If you have any comments, please send your email to email@example.com