China and much of the world was roiled when scientists found melamine was being used to make milk look as if it had additional nourishment. Melamine can be poisonous to people and hundreds of thousands of children fell ill. At least six children died.
The situation uncovered wide ranging food safety irregularities in China.
Peace and Freedom
Above: Victims’ relatives outside a court hold banners that read “cannot deprive the victims’ rights.”
China said on Monday a total of 296,000 children had fallen ill from consuming dairy products tainted with the industrial chemical , up 2,000 from the previous official count.
The health ministry also told reporters at a briefing that a total of 52,898 babies had been treated in hospital for kidney problems caused by the toxic ingredient. Of these, 52,582 had been discharged.
Journalists gather round parents whose babies suffered from melamine-tainted milk in Beijing. China said Monday that a total of 296,000 children had fallen ill from consuming dairy products tainted with the industrial chemical melamine, up 2,000 from the previous official count(AFP/File/Frederic J. Brown)
The health ministry announced in early December a figure of 294,000 babies sickened by melamine, a chemical normally used to make plastic.
Earlier ministry data also showed six deaths had been linked to melamine.
The figure was released as the nation awaited the verdicts in the first cases against officials from Sanlu Group, the company at the heart of thescandal.
The discovery that melamine was mixed into baby milk, in a bid to make it look richer in protein, shocked consumers both in China and abroad, dealing another blow to the reputation of the nation’s products.