Archive for the ‘poisoned’ 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

U.S. Always Pays Top Damages; Ever Notice That? Does That Do Any Good?

January 27, 2009

The government of China is heartbroken that so many Chinese lost children and relatives in the earthquake last year.  Heach famy got $15.00 to help celebrate the Lunar new Year which started yesterday.

When children were sickened and some killed by poisoned milk, China paid compensation:  about $300.00 per family; a little more for the families of the dead.

In Afghanistan today, U.S commanders paid out $40,000 to relatives of 15 people killed; “including a known militant commander.”

That’s more than $2,600 for every person killed.  In Afghanistan.

I wonder, why do we pay so much while other people pay so little?  And do out parments matter?  Do they do any good?  Or do Americans pay to remove American guilt?  I just wonder….

And it isn’t like China is broke.  They “own” much of the U.S. including over $1 Trillion in bonds….

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

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By JASON STRAZIUSO, Associated Press Writer

U.S. commanders on Tuesday traveled to a poor Afghan village and distributed $40,000 to relatives of 15 people killed in a U.S. raid, including a known militant commander. The Americans also apologized for any civilians killed in the operation.

The issue of civilian deaths is increasingly sensitive in Afghanistan, with President Hamid Karzai accusing the U.S. of killing civilians in three separate cases over the last month. Karzai has repeatedly warned the U.S. and NATO, saying such deaths undermine his government and the international mission.

In Washington, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates echoed Karzai’s concerns, telling a Senate committee that “civilian casualties are doing us enormous harm in Afghanistan.”

As U.S. commanders paid villagers near 15 newly dug graves, Karzai met Tuesday in the capital with relatives of some of those killed. He told the villagers he has given the U.S. and NATO one month to respond to a draft agreement calling for increased Afghan participation in military operations.

Karzai said if he does not receive a response within that time, he would ask Afghans what he should do about international military operations. The statement from the presidential palace describing the meeting did not elaborate.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090127/ap_
on_re_as/as_afghan_civilian_deaths

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: Farmers That Survived Poisoned Milk Scandal

January 8, 2009

The drive to Shijiazhuang from Beijing is long and gray. It is the city at the heart of China’s tainted milk scandal, where Sanlu headquarters is based. Small dairy farms that once supplied milk to Sanlu, and thrived on its business, lie on the outskirts.

When we arrived at one farm, I saw the first signs of life, vibrant signs. Twenty or so cows bristled at our arrival. I didn’t realize how curious, even social, cows can be. A few ran to the edge of the fence staring at us intently. Maybe they were just hungry. A 2-month-old calf tied to a post at the entrance quietly observed us.

By Emily Chang
CNN

The farmer, Feng Xianying, acknowledged us with a quiet handshake, then went on to mix up the day’s lunch – basic feed with some extra nutrients from what I could tell – and serve it in twenty or so individual bins for the cows to munch. He was methodical, silent, but I would say, good-natured. There was a rhythm in his step. He did it all with care.

When he opened the pen, the cows filed out obediently, each taking its place to feed. Feng served a small portion to the calf. “He’s too small to stay in the pen with others,” he said.

There was a time when Feng Xianying thought he might have to kill his cows to survive.

News that Sanlu had been selling tainted milk had broken. Apparently, middlemen had bought milk from the farmers then mixed it with a toxic chemical called melamine to artificially boost protein levels.

Hundreds of thousands of children got sick and China’s dairy industry was on the verge of collapse. Sanlu stopped operations, and stopped buying milk from Feng and other farmers.

Many farmers gave up, but Feng pushed through the roughest times, kept his business afloat and his cows alive.

He survived thanks in part to government support.

“The government provided loans to support the dairy industry, so I was able to buy some new cows,” he told me. “In the past, the government was ignorant and competition between the dairies was fierce, so they didn’t care about the quality of the milk.”

Read the rest:
http://inthefield.blogs.cnn.com/2009/01/07/su
rviving-the-milk-scandal-in-china/

New China Food Safety Alert: Toxic Seafood Has Melamine

December 24, 2008
Melamine has been added to countless products in China in an effort to boost apparent levels of protein by raising the nitrogen count.  But melamine, when concentratated is toxic and poisonous to humans — especially children.

Melamine killed at least six children in China who drank toxic milk this year and it  sickened thousands.  Melamine has also been found in scores of China’s exports including toothpaste, cough syrup, yogurt, dog and cat food, eggs, ice cream, chicken, chocolate, breads and cakes and other products…..

The biggest dairy company in China, Sanlu,  is now going out of business, its reputation destroyed by the use of melamine….

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
>

http://www.cnn.com/2008/BUSINESS/12/25/sanlu.
bankruptcy/index.html

I saw the improper mixing and use of animal feed in China years ago.  Chinese farmers were just trying to lessen the cost of feeding chickens and cattle.  And agricultural suppliers of all kinds in China work feverishly to sell “cheeper, better” feeds, insecticides and fertilizers.  Usually, melamine was added to animal feed.

Beijing’s government has little or no control over the millions of small manufacturers and farmers in the vast countryside of this rural nation of 1.3 billion people.  Until this last summer’s Olympics, Beijing had never even had food sanitation and safety standards written much less enforced for restaurants — a very basic of health taken for granted in the West.

On October 31, 2008, the BBC reported that the poison melamine was widely used in many food products in China and that “the melamine scandal began early in September.” 

Apparently the BBC took no note of the New York Times report a year ago last April (2007) that melamine was widely used in food products in China — and probably had been for years.  The Times called the use a melamine an “open secret” in China.
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Here’s the report on melamine in China’s food supply from The New York Times from April 2007:
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ZHANGQIU, China, April 28, 2007 — As American food safety regulators head to China to investigate how a chemical made from coal found its way into pet food that killed dogs and cats in the United States, workers in this heavily polluted northern city openly admit that the substance is routinely added to animal feed as a fake protein.
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For years, producers of animal feed all over China have secretly supplemented their feed with the substance, called melamine, a cheap additive that looks like protein in tests, even though it does not provide any nutritional benefits, according to melamine scrap traders and agricultural workers here.

“Many companies buy melamine scrap to make animal feed, such as fish feed,” said Ji Denghui, general manager of the Fujian Sanming Dinghui Chemical Company, which sells melamine. “I don’t know if there’s a regulation on it. Probably not. No law or regulation says ‘don’t do it,’ so everyone’s doing it. The laws in China are like that, aren’t they? If there’s no accident, there won’t be any regulation.”

Melamine is at the center of a recall of 60 million packages of pet food, after the chemical was found in wheat gluten linked this month to the deaths of at least 16 pets in the United States.

No one knows exactly how melamine (which is not believed to be particularly toxic) became so fatal in pet food, but its presence in any form of American food is illegal.

The link to China has set off concerns among critics of the Food and Drug Administration that ingredients in pet food as well as human food, which are increasingly coming from abroad, are not being adequately screened.

Above: Ariana Lindquist for The New York Times

“They have fewer people inspecting product at the ports than ever before,” says Caroline Smith DeWaal, the director of food safety for the Center for Science in the Public Interest in Washington. “Until China gets programs in place to verify the safety of their products, they need to be inspected by U.S. inspectors. This open-door policy on food ingredients is an open invitation for an attack on the food supply, either intentional or unintentional.”

Now, with evidence mounting that the tainted wheat gluten came from China, American regulators have been granted permission to visit the region to conduct inspections of food treatment facilities.

The Food and Drug Administration has already banned imports of wheat gluten from China after it received more than 14,000 reports of pets believed to have been sickened by packaged food. And last week, the agency opened a criminal investigation in the case and searched the offices of at least one pet food supplier.

The Department of Agriculture has also stepped in. On Thursday, the agency ordered more than 6,000 hogs to be quarantined or slaughtered after some of the pet food ingredients laced with melamine were accidentally sent to hog farms in eight states, including California.

Read the rest
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/30/business/worldbusines
s/30food.html?ex=1335672000&en=b143bd4a5d0684b6&e
i=5124&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink

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Industry experts and businesspeople in China say that the industrial chemical melamine has been routinely added to fish and animal feed to artificially boost protein readings.

By Don Lee and Tiffany Hsu
The Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Los Angeles and Shanghai — Melamine in Chinese-produced milk powder has sickened hundreds of thousands of children and added to a growing list of made-in-China foods banned across the globe. Now, some scientists and consumer advocates are raising concerns that fish from China may also be contaminated with the industrial chemical.

China is the world’s largest producer of farm-raised seafood, exporting billions of dollars worth of shrimp, catfish, tilapia, salmon and other fish. The U.S. imported about $2 billion of seafood products from China in 2007, almost double the volume of four years earlier, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

But industry experts and businesspeople in China say that melamine has been routinely added to fish and animal feed to artificially boost protein readings. And new research suggests that, unlike in cows and pigs, the edible flesh in fish that have been fed melamine contains residues of the nitrogen-rich substance.

Melamine, commonly used in plastics and dishware, can lead to urinary problems such as kidney stones and even renal failure.

Last year, pet foods made with melamine-laced ingredients from China sickened or killed thousands of dogs and cats in the U.S. This year, infant formula tainted with the chemical has been linked to illness in 294,000 small children and six deaths in China, according to China’s Ministry of Health.

In the U.S., fish from China can be found in the frozen food aisle in supermarkets and is served in posh restaurants.

Read the rest:
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-melamine24-2008dec24,0,5133588.story

Thirsty Beijing awash in water woes

December 22, 2008

This capital’s growing thirst for clean water is clashing with provincial demands and concerns that plans to tap China‘s rivers will hurt an already troubled environment.

As a result, China has delayed by four years a project to transfer water more than 600 miles from a tributary of the Yangtze River to Beijing and Tianjin, pushing the completion date to 2014.

First proposed by Mao Zedong in the 1950s, the south-to-north water diversion is designed to maintain explosive industrialization in – and migration to – the country´s northern cities.

Critics of the $62 billion project have long argued that it is riddled with environmental flaws. Some of the strongest calls for a delay come from officials in central Hubei province, home to the Danjiangkou Dam, where the water would originate.

By Chris Obrein
The Washington Times

GETTY IMAGES The Danjiangkou Dam is seen here under construction in July 2006 in central Hubei province, China. Its water is the source of plans to solve Beijing's thirst for more water.

Above: The Danjiangkou Dam is seen here under construction in July 2006 in central Hubei province, China.  Photo: Getty Images

Wang Fenyu, a project official, told the Changjiang (Yangtze) Times recently that completion of what is known as the “central route” had been pushed back from 2010 until 2014 “to prevent ecological and environment risks.”

To ensure Beijing´s thirst is not quenched with dirty water, “Hubei must build even more water-treatment plants and ecological restoration facilities,” Mr. Wang said. The project originally was slated to be finished by last summer’s Olympics.

The central route, one of three planned large water projects, is designed to divert 44.8 billion cubic meters of water each year from the Han River, a major tributary of the Yangtze, to supply Beijing and Tianjin.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008
/dec/22/thirsty-beijing-awash-in-woes-linked-to-huge-need-/

“Made in China” label battered by product scandals

December 8, 2008

Milk, toothpaste, cough syrup, pet food, eels, blood thinner, car parts, pork, eggs, honey, chicken, dumplings, cooking oil and rice — if you can fake it or taint it, you can almost guarantee it’s happened in China.

A string of product safety scandals, including contaminated infant formula that is believed to have killed six babies and sickened thousands of others, have rocked the faith of shoppers, making them wary of buying products made in China despite the often cheaper price tag.

Officers from the local Administration for Industry and Commerce ...
Officers from the local Administration for Industry and Commerce prepare to destroy confiscated milk in Baofeng, Henan province in this November 10, 2008 file photo.(China Daily/Files/Reuters)

By Ben Blanchard, Reuters

“I was physically disgusted when I saw it on the TV,” said Sally Villegas, a mother of two in Australia, referring to the melamine-tainted infant formula scandal that came to light in September.

“If I’m shopping and I pick up a product made in China, yes I would put it back.”

The melamine scandal was the latest in a string of recent high-profile safety problems that included lead paint on toy cars and contaminated Chinese-made blood thinner heparin which was blamed for fatalities in the United States and Germany and prompted a global recall early this year.

After each scandal, Beijing seemed to have the same response: launching a crackdown, destroying tainted goods on television, jailing a few officials and saying they “pay great attention” to the problem.

Trouble is, for all the government’s efforts and exhortations, the scandals keep happening, and will likely keep on happening, due to lax rule enforcement, fragmented industries, widespread poverty and the sheer size of China, analysts say.

“I’m sure that there will be more. It’s a near certainty. Not only in the fields that we’ve seen already, but in other ones,” said Duncan Innes-Ker, a China analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit in Beijing.

“China faces a lot of problems because it is developing into a big but very poor economy, and obviously you can’t have Western-style safety mechanisms in an economy where half the population doesn’t earn much more than a couple of dollars a day,” he added.

CHINESE PRODUCTS SHUNNED

Jin Biao, vice president of Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group, one of China’s largest dairy producers, admitted the melamine problem had dented the country’s already badly tattered reputation overseas.

“The contamination was our management problem. We must first resolve it without trying to pass the blame on to the farmers, or to society, or the country,” he told Reuters.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20081208/ts_n
m/us_china_safety_2