Archive for the ‘melamine’ Category

Jailed China milk-scandal chief appeals sentence

February 1, 2009

The former chairwoman of the Sanlu Group, jailed for life over China‘s melamine-tainted milk scandal in which at least six children died, has appealed against her sentence, state media said on Sunday.

Tian Wenhua says her trial lacked evidence, Xinhua news agency quoted her lawyer as saying.

Tian was convicted last year at Shijiazhuang Intermediate People’s Court of manufacturing and selling fake or substandard products. She was sentenced to life last month and fined 24.7 million yuan ($3.6 million).

Two men were sentenced to death and three former Sanlu executives received jail terms of five to 15 years.

The court ruled Tian authorized the sale of products that contained 10 mg of melamine in every 1 kg of milk, Xinhua said.

Nearly 300,000 children fell ill last year after drinking milk laced with melamine, a toxic industrial compound that can give a fake positive on protein tests.

The latest in a string of food safety failures that have blighted the “made in China” brand, the Sanlu milk scandal prompted an outpouring of public anger.

(Reporting by Nick Macfie; Editing by Janet Lawrence of Reuters)

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From Xinhua

Tian and her lawyers also argued the court lacked evidence to say that Tian agreed to receive the problematic crude milk.

Tian said the management of Sanlu Group decided to recall and cease selling the baby milk powder containing melamine on Aug. 1 when the Hebei Provincial Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau confirmed that samples sent by the company were contaminated.

Even if the milk powder department under the group failed to inform the downstream dealers, Tian should not bear the responsibility, Liang said.

Three other former Sanlu executives received jail terms of 5 to 15 years for their roles in the scandal.

The Sanlu Group, whose bankruptcy petition was accepted by the Shijiazhuang Intermediate People’s Court last month, was fined 49.37 million yuan by the Shijiazhuang court.

Read the entire article:
http://english.people.com.cn/90001/9
0776/90882/6583196.html

Related:
 China Killed Children With Poisoned Milk, Held “Show Trial,” Absolved Government Regulators

China Discovers Compensation for Pain, Agony; But Don’t Expect Much

January 26, 2009

Unemployed: China will help out.  Loved ones lost in the earthquake?  China will pay.  Kids killed by poisoned milk: not to worry.

China’s Prime Minister Wen Jiabao just visited survivors of last May’s earthquake which devastated large parts of Sichuan province last year to help them celebrate the Lunar New Year or Spring Festival.

Many Chinese lost family members, children and friends in the earthquake, along with their homes, jobs and towns.

Related:
China Premier’s gifts to Europe come with price-tags

Wen cooked spicey Chinese stew and handed out money to some earthquake victims.  The cooking was done in a government tent shelter.

Above: Prime Minister Wen Jiabao in Sichuan Province, in a photo distributed by the official Chinese news agency. Yao Dawei/Xinhua, via Reuters

China’s state run media said about 75 million earthquake victims got the equivalent of $15.00 to help them celebrate the New Year.  Per family.

Isn’t this called “papering over” trouble?
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China’s state-run Xinhua news agency also announced on Monday that the government is to help train as many as one million jobless college graduates over the next three years.

Graduates will also be offered small loans to help them start their own businesses.

Let’s hope it’s more than fifteen bucks.

Experts say there are more than 20 million newly unemployed people in China, many of them migrants.  China is worried that unemployment will cause social unrest.

But analysts say the education and job-start programs show the government’s increasing concern with rising unemployment.

Tomorrow Mr. Wen travels to Europe to pass out goodies.

There hasn’t been an earthquake in Europe unless you count the global economic melt-down.

Lets hope fifteen U.S. dollars doesn’t buy China any loyalty in Paris, London and elsewhere.  Oh, excuse us, Paris is not on Mr. Wen’s itinerary….

President Sarkozy’s love of the Dalai Lama cost him at least $15.00….and China’s love….

Related from the BBC:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7850726.stm

China celebrates New Year:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090126/ap_o
n_re_as/as_china_new_year_2

http://www.france24.com/en/20090125-
global-crisis-dampens-china-new-year-
celebrations

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The China Dairy Industry Association has claimed that 90 percent families of the victims in the country’s tainted milk scandal have been compensated.

Without disclosing the compensation amount, the association said that families of 262,662 children who were sickened after drinking the melamine-contaminated milk products had signed compensation agreements and accepted compensation, the chinaview.com reports.

Out of the families of six dead children and 891 other infants, all except two had accepted compensation, the association said. However, families of 23,651 sickened children have yet to be reached mainly because of wrong or untrue registration of names, it added.

There are only a handful of families of sickened children who want to realize their rights and interests by filing lawsuits and did not accept compensation, it said.

The Chinese Health Ministry has confirmed deaths of six infants who died after consuming contaminated milk products, whereas 296,000 infants suffered kidney stones and other urinary problems.

In a letter sent to victims last month, Sanlu Group which was at the center of the scandal along with 21 other dairy companies, offered 200,000 yuan for families whose children died and 30,000 yuan for serious cases such as kidney stones and acute kidney failure. The less severe case victims got 2,000 yuan as damage.

The dairy companies have also set up a fund to pay the medical liabilities of the sickened children until they reach the age of 18.Read the rest from ANI and New Karala:
http://www.newkerala.com/topstory-fu
llnews-81131.html

Related:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/sto
ry.php?storyId=99002599

China Poisoned Food Problem Step Ahead: Restrict Melamine

January 22, 2009

China plans to impose production controls on melamine, the cheap industrial ingredient at the center of a milk-contamination scandal that shocked China and the rest of the world last year, a newspaper said on Friday.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has circulated for comment draft production permit rules aiming to stem a melamine production glut and stop it from tainting food, the China Chemical Industry News reported.

Melamine is used to maker fertilizers, plastics and other industrial goods but gained notoriety as a cheap additive for milk and other foods. Rich in nitrogen, melamine can be used to fool tests for protein.

At least six young Chinese children died from kidney stones and more than 290,000 were made ill from melamine-contaminated milk formula, battering already dented faith in China-made goods and prompting massive recalls of dairy and other food products around the world.

Tian Wenhua, the former general manager of the now bankrupt Sanlu Group, the company at the heart of the poisoning scandal, has pleaded guilty to charges of “producing and selling fake or substandard products”. She is expected to be sentenced to life imprisonment.

The Industry Ministry hoped the new rules would end such scandals, the newspaper said.

Until recently, melamine has been widely sold, including over the Internet, for around 10,000 yuan ($1,500) a metric ton. It has also been detected in eggs, chocolates and other foods.

The ministry also aims to shrink the number of melamine producers by setting minimum production levels and strengthening controls on ingredients and waste.

A two-month-old boy died on Sunday after being fed with milk formula made by a Guangdong milk company in eastern Zhejiang province, the Oriental Morning Post reported on Friday.

The report made no mention of melamine, but authorities were investigating, it said.

(Reporting by Chris Buckley; Editing by Nick Macfie for Reuters)

China Killed Children With Poisoned Milk, Held “Show Trial,” Absolved Government Regulators

January 22, 2009

China completed a trial of those accused in the milk-poisoned children scandal today, handing down death sentences and sentences to life in prison.

But the government itself took no responsibility for decades of improper food regulations, monitoring and government employees looking the other way when wrongdoing was obvious.

I pesonally saw improper use of chemicals like animal feed, melamine and fertilizer added to food products in China starting in the 1970s — so this issue is not new.  The New York Times investigated this issue in 2007 and found the use of melamine “an open secret” amoung tens of thousands of farmers and vendors.

It is good the world community is now aware of this practice and that China is taking action….But executions of those found guilty now, or even prison, is just wrong, a violation of the most basic human rights, and only used to show action on the part of the Chinese government following tragic infant deaths.

A Chinese nurse attends to a baby who became ill after drinking ... 
A Chinese nurse attends to a baby who became ill after drinking contaminated milk powder in September 2008. At least six infants died. Tian Wenhua and others went to trial trial. But China’s government is the real guilty party….(AFP/File/Str)

Zheng Shuzhen, center, the grandmother of a baby who died after ... 
Zheng Shuzhen, center, the grandmother of a baby who died after drinking tainted milk, cries outside the Intermediate People’s Court in Shijiazhuang, in China’s Hebei province Thursday Jan. 22, 2009. Verdicts and sentencing were expected at the court Thursday for 21 people charged in the tainted milk scandal. AP Photo Greg Baker

“There is no transparency in the process. They are behaving like there is something to hide,” said Teng Biao, a Beijing lawyer who has been trying to bring a lawsuit on behalf of 111 parents. “They are completely excluding the victims.”

That is because China’s government does have much to hide.  This  was a kangaroo court.

The Associated Press reported that a court in China gave a sentence of life in prison to the former boss of the dairy at the center of China’s contaminated milk scandal.

Tian Wenhua, former board chairwoman and general manager of the Chinese dairy company Sanlu Group, will go to life in prison for her role in a tainted milk scandal that killed at least six infants and sickened nearly 300,000 others.

CNN reported that three other people were sentenced to death and two others to life in prison for their roles, while three others received prison terms of five to 15 years each. Many of those sentenced were middlemen who sold melamine to milking stations that added the chemical to the milk.
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By John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia

The sentencing:
 Death, Life in Prison Sentences in China Poisoned Milk Trial

Related:
China: Another New Melamine Scandal; Poisoned Food Products

http://chinadigitaltimes.net/2009/01/in-
china-tainted-milk-trial-kept-under-wraps/

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationwo
rld/world/la-fg-china-milk1-2009jan01
,0,4186405.story

From The New York Times:
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/30/business
/worldbusiness/30food.html?ex=1335672000
&en=b143bd4a5d0684b6&ei=5124&partner=
permalink&exprod=permalink

China: Redefining “Superpower” to Mean Economic and Military Strength Without Human Rights

BBC:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-
pacific/7807637.stm

Reports on the sentences:

CNN:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asia
pcf/01/22/china.tainted.milk/index.html

AP:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090122
/ap_on_re_as/as_china_tainted_milk

Death, Life in Prison Sentences in China Poisoned Milk Trial

January 22, 2009

The Associated Press reported that a court in China gave a sentence of life in prison to the former boss of the dairy at the center of China‘s contaminated milk scandal.

Tian Wenhua, former board chairwoman and general manager of the Chinese dairy company Sanlu Group, will go to life in prison for her role in a tainted milk scandal that killed at least six infants and sickened nearly 300,000 others.

CNN reported that three other people were sentenced to death and two others to life in prison for their roles, while three others received prison terms of five to 15 years each. Many of those sentenced were middlemen who sold melamine to milking stations that added the chemical to the milk.

Tian Wenhua 
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Above: Tian Wenhua, chairwoman of the now-bankrupt Sanlu Group, enters a courthouse in China. Photo: Ding Lixin / Associated Press

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CNN:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asia
pcf/01/22/china.tainted.milk/index.html

AP:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090122
/ap_on_re_as/as_china_tainted_milk

China: More Food Safety Alarm as Dogs Sicken, Die

January 12, 2009

A local distributor of a popular brand of dog food said Monday it had suspended sales of the product following reports that dogs who ate it died from poisoning.

China‘s recent food safety scandals have centered on locally made products; this time it wasn’t immediately clear whether the product was locally made or imported.

By ELAINE KURTENBACH, Associated Press Writer

A customer service manager at Shanghai Yidi Pet Co. said the company stopped selling Optima brand dog food last week following reports that more than a dozen dogs who ate it had died from aflatoxin poisoning.

“It’s upsetting to see so many dogs getting sick from the food,” said Gu, who gave only his last name as is common with many media-shy Chinese.

A report Monday in the Shanghai Daily newspaper said at least 20 dogs in four Chinese cities, including Beijing, had died since the end of November from liver complications from aflatoxin, a naturally occurring chemical from a fungus sometimes found on corn and other crops.

It wasn’t clear who makes the Optima brand involved in the complaints.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090112/ap_on_re_as/as_chi
na_tainted_products;_ylt=AsksuYVj9SoVyj39sPDGaoRvaA8F

China to launch pre-New Year food safety campaign

January 12, 2009

China will launch a pre-Lunar New Year crackdown on food safety, the Health Ministry said on Monday, focusing on illegal use of additives after a milk scandal last year killed at least six babies and made thousands sick.

The campaign would focus on seven provinces, including Hebei where the milk contamination scandal began, ministry spokesman Mao Qunan told a news conference.

“Groups and individuals who have broken the law will be dealt with firmly to completely ensure people’s food safety over the holiday period,” Mao said. “We will report important cases to society in a timely manner.”

The Lunar New Year starts on January 26, when traditionally millions of Chinese head back to their home towns to feast and celebrate with their families.

At least six young Chinese children died from kidney stones and more than 290,000 were made ill from melamine-contaminated milk formula, battering already dented faith in China-made goods and prompting massive recalls of dairy and other food products around the world.

Melamine is used to maker fertilizers, plastics and other industrial goods but gained notoriety as a cheap additive for milk and other foods. Rich in nitrogen, melamine can be used to fool tests for protein.

It has also been detected in eggs, chocolates, ice creams, yoghurts and other foods.

China has suffered other food additive scandals in the past, including the use of carcinogenic chemicals as food colorings.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Nick Macfie at Reuters)

China’s Tainted Milk Scandal Won’t Fade Away

January 12, 2009

China’s poisoned milk scandal won’t go away.  China continues to update its listing of the number of children sickened, angry parents protest, a court is to decide on wrongdoing of dairy company Sanlu executives and arrests in the case continue.

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

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Chinese authorities have arrested 60 people in connection with the country’s tainted milk scandal that killed six infants and sickened nearly 300,000 more, state media reported.Above: Victims’ relatives outside a court hold banners that read “cannot deprive the victims’ rights.”

CNN:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asia
pcf/01/12/china.milk/index.html

Victims' relatives outside a court hold banners that read "cannot deprive the victims' rights." 

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China said on Monday 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.

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.

AFP

Journalists gather round parents whose babies suffered from ... 
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 the baby formula scandal.

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.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090112/wl
_afp/chinafoodsafetychild_newsmlmmd

China’s dairy industry took deadly shortcuts to growth

January 8, 2009
Milk was an unpopular product only a generation ago, and then business executives and the government pushed its consumption. Some couldn’t compete and cheated.
By Barbara Demick
January 8, 2009
Reporting from Xingtang, China — Like many Chinese peasants of his generation, 53-year-old Wang Zhengnian had never seen a cow until he reached adulthood. He certainly never drank a glass of milk.

The fact that Wang now spends his days tending 400 cows on a farm near Beijing says a lot about the way China created a dairy industry out of thin air. But in their haste, the Chinese made mistakes that left six babies dead and hundreds of thousands ill from tainted milk.

Milk is not part of the traditional Chinese diet. Most Chinese adults are lactose-intolerant and many are repelled by the smell of dairy products.

But in the 1990s, economic planners decided that dairy cows were a quick way to improve rural incomes, particularly in northern provinces such as Hebei, Inner Mongolia and Heilongjiang with cool climate, flat terrain and lack of other economic prospects. To encourage consumption, the propaganda machine spread the word that children needed to drink milk to grow as strong and tall as Westerners.

China farm 

Above: A cattle farm in the eastern Chinese city of Jimo. Milk and other dairy products weren’t popular before the 1990s. Photo: Wu Hong / European Pressphoto Agency

In a landscape that looks more Rust Belt than Dairy Belt, people opened farms in patches of land between derelict factories and villages.

“Cows have been good for us,” Wang said as he whistled for his herd to come in for milking last week in Xingtang County, 170 miles southwest of Beijing. “The business is bad right now because of the scandal, but it was great before.”

The now-bankrupt dairy producer Sanlu Group, headquartered in Shijiazhuang, capital of Hebei, was a big reason for the success. Company Chairwoman Tian Wenhua was a Communist Party official, but also a reformer. She now faces life imprisonment for covering up the scandal over Sanlu’s tainted milk.

Related:
China Serves Hard to Swallow Poison Food Trial for Western “Consumption”

Read the rest:
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-
china-cows8-2009jan08,0,5029200.story

China’s milk scandal is a political temblor

January 5, 2009

China’s milk scandal horrifies the public and undermines the authority of a one-party system with a hand in everything.
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Selling contaminated baby formula is a heinous enough crime to shock a nation, but China’s leaders know they have a dangerously destabilizing political crisis on their hands.

Editorial
The Seattle Times

The scandal goes to the heart of a covenant between any authoritarian regime and those who surrender freedom. They cede power with the belief, however wishful, they will be better off. Those in power promise to protect them from all manner of hazards, foreign and domestic.

The unraveling of China’s milk scandal has horrified the country. Last week, the chairwoman of a diary company pleaded guilty to producing and selling fake or substandard products. Milk products contaminated with an additive that produces kidney stones has killed six babies and sickened another 300,000.

Company officials knew milk products adulterated with melamine were making infants ill months before the scandal broke in September.

China’s one-party system has opened the economy, but the ties between commerce and government are closely held. Any indictment by public opinion goes to the heart of the legitimacy of power in Beijing.

Chinese authorities cannot maintain the illusion of control with broad failures to deliver. The killer earthquake in May near Chengdu, in Sichuan Provence, stirred outrage on two fronts. Authorities were sharply criticized for not getting emergency supplies to people. A second wave of anger came over grossly inadequate building standards, especially for schools that became death traps.

The milk scandal and trial is a variation on the theme of credibility and competence. As described by reporter Barbara Demick, in The Los Angeles Times:

“The case is turning into a showdown between the Chinese government’s opaque legal system and a consumer culture that increasingly clamors for information and accountability.”

The Chinese are turning to Web sites and texting to vent their frustrations and try to stay updated.

China’s problems compound. The milk scandal is already complicating international trade, with the discovery of contaminated products. Foreign governments, with their own constituencies, talk aloud about their ability to rely on Chinese authorities and inspectors.

The milk scandal is a grievous personal tragedy and a deep political temblor.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/editorials
opinion/2008587332_edit05china.html?syndication=rss

Related:
China: Free Speech, Poisoned Food, Dead Children