According to the report, the milk powder was contaminated with the chemical melamine and linked to have caused kidney stones in infants. China’s Health Minister Gao Qiangan said about 443 babies are already reported to have developed kidney stones after being constantly fed Sanlu milk.
What is melamine? Melamine is a white powder with unique properties – the chemical compound melamine (triamino-triazine – C3N6H6), consisting of carbon, nitrogen and hydrogen. It is an important starting material for the production of synthetic thermosetting products worldwide. Melamine enables the creation of hard, glossy surfaces which are durable and hardwearing. (Souce: Melamine by DSM)
Officials of the company said they were aware of some sort of contamination in their products but failed to report it to the authorities. They said authorities were only told of the contamination Monday, even though Sanlu received complaints as early as March and its tests found melamine in August.
The incident reflects China’s enduring problems with product safety despite a shake-up of its regulatory system after a spate of warnings and recalls about tainted toothpaste, faulty tires and other goods.
The biggest group of victims is in China itself, where shoddy or counterfeit products are common. Infants, hospital patients and others have been killed or injured by tainted or fake milk, medicines, liquor and other products.
Authorities have seized 2,176 tons of Sanlu formula and ordered a recall totaling 8,218 tons, Yang said. That was far more than the 700 tons in Sanlu’s initial recall announcement on Thursday. Yang gave no indication whether the recall might increase.
Beijing has launched an emergency inspection of all 175 companies in China that produce , Gao said.
In Taiwan, Liu Fang-ming of the Taoyuan county government said the Chinese shipment of milk powder, which arrived in June, was 55,115 pounds. Liu said only 21,660 pounds had been recovered.
Taiwan and China split in 1949 amid civil war and have no formal relations, but indirect trade is booming. Gao said Beijing informed Taiwan through the agencies that maintain informal contact between the two governments.
Xinhua cited a Gansu provincial health department spokesman as saying he received reports on July 16 that 16 infants under a year old, all of whom drank Sanlu milk, were suffering a rare kidney ailment. He said the Health Ministry launched an epidemic survey.
“However, there seemed no food and safety survey had been done. Otherwise, the health, and even lives, of many infants could have been saved,” Xinhua said.
A Sanlu manager quoted by the newspaper Beijing News said the dairy received complaints in March and June but could not track down the problem.
“We finally imported foreign equipment in August and finally found the milk powder contained melamine,” said the manager, identified only by the surname Wang.
Sanlu buys milk from a nationwide network of suppliers that includes 60,000 family farms, according to its Web site.
This is China’s second high-profile case in four years involving harmful baby formula.
In 2004, more than 200 infants suffered malnutrition and at least 12 died after being fed phony formula with no nutrients. Some 40 companies were found to be making phony formula and 47 people were arrested. (Yahoo News)
What’s wrong with China? Or the Chinese businessmen in that matter. What are they thinking? Do they still have this “tubong lugaw” mentality up to now? (Tubong lugaw is a Filipino slang directed at a business where investment is very very low second to none but the income is like 100 folds of what you invested.)
I’m sorry to sound judgmental but China has to stop with all these fake or low quality products they are producing. They are not just harming their citizens but are causing injury around the world.
Just last year a massive toy recall imported in the U.S. from China happened because of the lead found in the paint used in the products. Matell has recalled over 18 million products in a month September last year with details published in its website.
Who Sucks, We’ll Tell You created a timeline showing the wide range of faulty/dangerous products made in China just for the year 2007.
Are they going to stop? What the hell are they thinking? For goodness sake I hope they stop. Gosh and they think they will get away with all the fake, remember the fake fireworks during the Beijing Olympics.
But goodness baby milk powder? Are they trying to kill their babies? Good thing this products is not sold in here. Jeeeez I hope not because there’s a possibility that it has been repacked and sold anywhere in the world. Yikes!