China Recalls More Milk Items for Testing

(New York Times – China)

By EDWARD WONG

 

The Chinese government ordered a recall on Tuesday of all milk products produced before Sept. 14 that are still on the shelves so the products can be tested for the toxic chemical melamine.

 

Melamine, a substance illicitly added to watered-down milk to falsely indicate a higher protein count, has led to the deaths of at least three babies; at least 53,000 other children have fallen ill. Those statistics are weeks old, though, and the government has yet to release updated numbers, which are believed to be much higher.

 

The government announced limits for allowable traces of melamine last week. If the recalled products meet the new standards, they will be put back on the market, the government said. Dairy products thought to have a real risk of melamine contamination were already recalled weeks ago, right after the milk crisis first emerged. The recall announced Tuesday was an effort by the government to show the public that it was enforcing its new trace melamine limits.

 

Meanwhile, a lawyer based in Shanghai has filed a lawsuit in the northwestern Gansu Province on behalf of a family whose 6-month-old son, Yi Kaixuan, died in May after drinking tainted baby formula. A handful of lawsuits have been filed on behalf of parents whose children have died or fallen ill from drinking tainted dairy products, but so far no court has accepted a case.

 

Separately, the Ministry of Health and the State Food and Drug Administration also announced Tuesday that the brand of herbal drug suspected of killing three people recently was “tainted with bacteria,” Xinhua, the state news agency, reported. The drug, Siberian ginseng or ciwujia, was made by Wandashan Pharmaceutical, based in northeastern China. 10-15-08

 

 

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