Tainted Baby Milk Induces Wave Of Child Sickness In China

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Almost 13,000 children in China have fallen sick in a wave of sickness caused by baby's milk contaminated with melamine, a banned chemical which can cause kidney stones, irritation, and ulcers. Most of the sickened children are infants two years or younger, and four children have died from the chemical so far.

The Chinese Health Ministry has stated that most of the tainted milk was produced by Shijiazhuang Sanlu Group Co.'s infant milk powder and have pulled several dairy products off the shelves of Chinese stores. Sanlu, Mengniu and Yili were among the largest brands pulled recalled, and have been attempting to repair their damaged public image. Yili announced that it would be reviewing its manufacturing process and making necessary safety changes. Yang Wenjun, president of Mengniu, apologized for the contamination and promised to make changes as well. Senlu, meanwhile, has stopped production and is checking all products.

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The Ministry is conducting an investigation into why the number of illnesses doubled Saturday. Ten percent of yogurt, milk and ice cream is also contaminated, however adults will not be affected if they drink less than two litres a day of the contaminated products.

Melamine is an industrial byproduct, infamous for poisoning thousands of pets in the United States in 2007. Investigators believe it was used by desperate dairy companies to disguise diluted milk in dairy products in order to pass quality tests and make higher profits.

Sources
Scott McDonald "Nearly 12,900 Chinese children sick from milk". Associated Press, September 21, 2008
"Hong Kong girl sick from tainted milk". UPI, September 21, 2008
Loretta Chao and Jason Leow "Chinese Tainting Scandal Pulls Milk off Shelves". The Wall Street Journal, September 20, 2008
Edward Wong "Mayor in China fired in baby formula scandal". International Herald Tribune, September 19, 2008
"Almost 13,000 Chinese children sickened by tainted milk". CNN, September 19, 2008
John Pomfret "Behind the Tainted Formula Scandal...Chinese Women Don't Like Breastfeeding". Newsweek/Washington Post, September 17, 2008

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