Latest Chinese Product Scandal: Over 50,000 Children Poisoned by Tainted Milk

China is again ordering a rash of arrests and resignations after the latest product scandal. In this case, diary producers sold milk containing the industrial chemical melamine, which killed four child and sickened nearly 53,000 others. This is not just another case of rampant Chinese pollution entering the food system. Melamine is sometimes put into milk to mimic high-protein additives.

Melamine can cause kidney stones and kidney failure. It was put into formula milk and given to babies. It has been found in milk from China’s two largest dairy producers, Mengniu Dairy Group and Yili Industrial Group, as well as Shanghai-based Bright Dairy.

Even the popular “White Rabbit Creamy Candy” showed that such contamination.

Melamine is commonly used in coatings and laminates, wood adhesives, fabric coatings, ceiling tiles and flame retardants. However, it can also be used to make milk register as having high-protein additives. Chen Lianfang of Beijing Orient Agribusiness Consultant told Time Magazine that “[b]efore the melamine incident, I know they could have been adding organic stuff, say animal urine or skin. Basically, anything that can boost the protein reading.”

I recently spoke in China and presented a paper on how these problems reflect a lack of deterrent. Even with the death sentences routinely handed out by the government, detection in such cases remains low. The solution is the one thing that the Communist regime cannot stomach: empowering citizens suit actions or so-called “private attorney generals.” The other great contributor is the absence of a viable tort system to allow families to sue these companies and even the government itself.

For the full story, click here.

6 thoughts on “Latest Chinese Product Scandal: Over 50,000 Children Poisoned by Tainted Milk”

  1. Melamine is the same chemical that caused the pet food poisonings. It’s a large molecule that passes for protein in the cheap protein tests that are often used to determine nutrition information. So any food product where they’re trying to boost the protein content is potentially a source of the free chemical. The more expensive test isn’t fooled. Melamine is inert once it’s heat processed, melamine dishware is in common use.

  2. rafflaw,

    The BBC reported the melamine is in many more products in at least China and Korea, probably elsewhere. Milk is a melamine by-product!

  3. Jill,
    This is another example of Bush’s good friends the Chinese and how they treat their own citizens. It is stories like this one that make me look at labels to make sure that nothing that I am buying is made in China. I wonder how much of this “plastic” milk is still in the system?

  4. ” …detection in such cases remains low”

    One sure-fire detection method; 50,000 sick kids. Unfortunately it was the first detection method that worked in this case. A shame they have no reasonable form of tort system, as JT said.

    We’ve had poison in the pet food, paper in the pork buns, lead in kid’s toys, and now they’re using melamine as a ‘filler’ to bulk up the ‘protein ratings’ of milk. If the world does begin using more nuclear power I wonder if they’ll find some use for the radioactive waste.

    Could it replace MSG?

  5. This article ought to send the have-more’s into a feeding frenzy and provide enough outrage for the talking heads in Brady Bunch boxes to choke on their vitriol. Meanwhile – key players in the US financial system have tainted our equities markets with contaminated securities for investor consumption – while our Kleptocracy Governemt has abetted their crimes.

    We don’t have to look very far for outrage – no less China – the current ballast of our ailing economy.

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