Archive for the ‘seafood’ Category

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.
.
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

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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 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.
.
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

China: Free Speech, Poisoned Food, Dead Children

January 4, 2009

Five parents whose children were sickened by tainted milk have been released by Chinese police after being detained for a day in an apparent move to prevent them from meeting with journalists, a lawyer said Saturday.

The parents were unhappy about a compensation plan made public this week, saying the amounts were too low and the plan was formulated without any input from families.

A group of about 10 parents planned to meet with journalists Friday. But five of the parents, including organizer Zhao Lianhai, were detained Thursday and held at a convention center, said Beijing attorney Xu Zhiyong.

They were released Friday evening after other parents who were not detained managed to meet with a few journalists, said Xu, who is part of a legal team representing 63 families with sickened children.

A newborn baby holds onto his mother's finger at a hospital ... 
A newborn baby holds onto his mother’s finger at a hospital in Beijing. Chinese police have released five parents of children sickened by melamine-tainted milk, a day after detaining them to prevent them holding a press conference, their lawyer has told AFP.(AFP/File/Frederic J. Brown)

Zhao, who has a 3-year-old child who fell ill but has since recovered, organized other parents and created a Web site about the contamination, said Li Fangping, another lawyer for some of the parents.

Zhao could not be reached for comment.

Police did not give a specific reason for the detention, Xu said, but he thought it was to prevent the meeting with reporters.

The Communist government, which seeks to control what the public sees and hears, frequently suppresses comments about disasters. Phones in the Beijing police information department rang unanswered Saturday, a public holiday.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090103
/ap_on_bi_ge/as_china_tainted_milk_6

Related:
China Serves Hard to Swallow Poison Food Trial for Western “Consumption”
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http://chinadigitaltimes.net/2009/01/in-c
hina-tainted-milk-trial-kept-under-wraps/

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

January 3, 2009

China’s official communist state media Xinhua has taken a turn at distorting the trial of Sanlu Dairy executive Tian Wenhua.

Manipualtion of media reports coming out of China is normal but in this case it appears both the press reports and the trial itself are “rigged.”

It isn’t even clear if  Tian Wenhua pleaded guilty or not guity to charges she was aware her comapany was illegally adding the poison melamine to milk and other dairy products.

And it isn’t clear that adding melamine to food products was illegal in China.

Ji Denghui, general manager of the Fujian Sanming Dinghui Chemical Company, which sold melamine said, “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.”

Ji Denghui made that statement in 2007 to New York Times reporters  David Barboza and Alexei Barrionuevo.

Barboza and Barrionuevo concluded that the use of melamine in food in China was so widespread that it was an “open secret.”  In fact, our sources and our own experience tell us that the use of melamine in food in China was “normal” in China for years and perhaps decades….

All we know for sure about the current trial is this: at least six children died as a result of poisoned milk products in China and hundreds were sickened, inside China and elsewhere by exported Chinese products.  China has said this evil was the result of wrongdoing on the part of food industry workers — but there is widespread evidence that the poison melamine was used in food products and other orally ingested products like toothpaste for years or decades prior to this trial…with the full knowledge of Chinese government officials.

John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia

Related:
China: Dead Children, Kangaroo Court, Punishment for the Innocent

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

****************

From Stuff.com (New Zealand)

Fonterra chief executive Andrew Ferrier has taken a step back in the confusing picture of the trial of former head of the Sanlu dairy company over the contaminated milk scandal in China.

 

State-run Xinhua news agency said yesterday that Tian Wenhua, 66-year-old former general manager of the now bankrupt Sanlu Group, pleaded guilty to charges of “producing and selling fake or substandard products”.

Fonterra had a 43 per cent share in Sanlu.

Mr Ferrier said last night he had heard conflicting reports from the trial of Tian’s trial, The New Zealand Herald reported.

But another company spokesman later contacted the Herald to say Tian had “absolutely and unequivocally” pleaded not guilty to the charges she faced.

The tainted product resulted in the deaths of six babies and illness of nearly 300,000 others earlier this year.

Tian appeared with three other company executives at a court in Shijiazhuang, capital of northern Hebei province. No verdict was announced, and it was unclear whether they could face the death penalty, or life imprisonment.

Fonterra had been under the impression yesterday that Tian had pleaded not guilty, Mr Ferrier said today.

“However there were other reports that she had pleaded guilty.

“Fonterra was not present at the trial. It is not appropriate for Fonterra to make any further comment while the Chinese court is deliberating its verdict,” he said.

Media reported that Tian admitted in court testimony that she had known of problems with the company’s products for two months before she told authorities.

She had submitted a written report on the melamine situation on August 2 – the same date Fonterra was told of the issue.

Mr Ferrier told the Herald any suggestion that Tian knew about it earlier was “absolute news” to his company.

Fonterra was also surprised by charges that Sanlu sold products after it knew they were contaminated.

Mr Ferrier said August 2 was “the absolute first that anybody in Fonterra had ever heard of this and from that moment on we pushed to recall the product”.

Chinese authorities had made no attempt to press charges against Fonterra, which has written off its 43 per cent shareholding in Sanlu for a loss of $210 million.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/4808019a13.html

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

January 2, 2009

Human rights abuses, kangaroo courts, poor safety standards and a seeminingly callous disregard for human life in China means that this great nation is redefining the word “superpower.”

The Dalai Lama, Tibet’s religious leader, pointed this out in Europe early in December 2008, but few paid much attention.

China lacks the moral authority, including over the question of Tibet, to be a true superpower, the Dalai Lama said. 

“Because of its very poor record on human rights and religious freedom and freedom of expression and freedom of the press — too much censorship — the image of China in the field of moral authority is very, very poor,” he said.

“The sensible Chinese realize China should now pay more attention in this field in order to get more respect from the rest of the world,” the Nobel peace laureate said.

Ever wonder why so many schoolchildren were killed in last year’s earthquakes in China?  The schools were built poorly, so poorly that they collapsed upon the first quake.  Many were poorly built because of goernment corruption: the builders paid communist officials to ignore poor building practices and shoddy materials.

Why does China have such a high number of deaths in mining?  Because mine safety standard are very weak and regulation and inspection is worse — where they exist at all.

So how does China hope to gain this superpower status?  By emulating the actions of a superpower, of course.

In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, Chinese ... 
In this photo released by China’s Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Hu Jintao, center, Premier Wen Jiabao, 4th left, and other Chinese top leaders attend a New Year tea party hosted by the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) in Beijing on Thursday, Jan. 1, 2009. From left are, Zhou Yongkang, Li Keqiang, Li Changchun, Wen, Hu, , Wu Bangguo, Jia Qinglin, Xi Jinping and He Guoqiang.(AP Photo/Xinhua, Liu Weibing)

China is expanding its military and has grown to own much of the U.S. in terms of property and wealth and American debt.

File photo shows Chinese amphibious tanks and marines storming ...
China proving here it is a superpower and master of Taiwan.  File photo shows Chinese amphibious tanks and marines storming a beachhead in an amphibious assault drill in China’s Shandong Peninsula. (AFP/Xinhua/File)But some of those “human rights” and “moral authority” issues discussed by the Dalai Lama are foreign and indecernable to the Chinese.

China’s recent poisoned milk scandal and the subsequent trial of  Tian Wenhua, chairwoman of the now-bankrupt Sanlu Group, are good examples.

Melamine is poisonous.  Sanlu put melamine into milk.  For the Chinese government, case closed.

Except in China, workers put melamine into all kinds of food products for years.

Melamine, which is poisonous to humans in great enough concentrations, had been routinely mixed into food products in China for years — and other similar tainted substances for decades. 

“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.”

Ji Denghui made that statement in 2007 to New York Times reporters  David Barboza and Alexei Barrionuevo.

China is able to get away with this kind of callous disregard for truth, honesty and its own citizens because the government controls the media, the legal system, and everything else.  The people only “vote” for representatives selected by the communist government which works tirelessly to stay in power by keeping order — not by obeying the kinds of basic laws and rules for human dignity most Westerners would expect — and take for granted.

John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom

Soldiers of Chinese navy special force attend an anti-piracy ... 
Soldiers of Chinese navy special force attend an anti-piracy drill on the deck of DDG-171 Haikou destroyer in Sanya, Hainan province December 25, 2008 in this photo released by China’s official Xinhua News Agency. The fleet – two destroyers and a supply ship – would have about 800 crew, including 70 special operations troops and will join in the multi-national patrolling of the Gulf of Aden and waters off the coast of Somalia, the official Xinhua news agency said. Picture taken December 25, 2008. REUTERS/Xinhua/Cha Chunming

100-yuan notes are counted at a bank in Shanghai. The US Treasury ...

Related:
http://www.hrichina.org/public/index

 China Poisoned Food, Children Died; “Show Trials,” Punishment for Innocent Next?

China: Dead Children, Kangaroo Court, Punishment for the Innocent

January 2, 2009

The head of China’s largest dairy firm, Sanlu Group, has argued that the country’s lack of regulations regarding a toxic chemical contributed to a tainted milk scandal that sickened nearly 300,000 infants, and killed at least six, state-run media reported.

She is exactly correct.

She is expected to be sentenced to life imprisonment although a verdict may not be reached for several weeks, the official Xinhua News said.

Earlier reports indicated that the 66-year-old executive could face the death penalty.

Her crime is that her business added melamine to milk: a practice common in China for decades.
.
This is a show trial conducted before state media by a communist government.

Sanlu put melamine into milk.  Case closed.

Except in China, workers put melamine into all kinds of food products for years.

Melamine, which is poisonous to humans in great enough concentrations, had been routinely mixed into food products in China for years — and other similar tainted substances for decades.  The reason this issue exploded on to the international scene was the deaths of children — not the communist government’s honesty and righteousness….

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. The former head of the Chinese firm at the centre of the tainted milk scandal could face the death penalty if convicted. Tian Wenhua is standing trial. But China’s government is the real guilty party….(AFP/File/Str)

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.

The government itself will never admit guilt because they then would be open to tens of thousands of lawsuits.

“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 is a kangaroo court.

“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.”

Ji Denghui made that statement in 2007 to New York Times reporters  David Barboza and Alexei Barrionuevo.

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

Above: Victims’ relatives outside a court hold banners that read “cannot deprive the victims’ rights.”

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 safety systems taken for granted in the West.

By John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia

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

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

***********************

From CNN:

Tian Wenhua, former board chairwoman and general manager of Sanlu, pleaded guilty Wednesday to her role in the scandal. She and three other executives are on trial for producing and selling fake or substandard products, according to Xinhua news agency.

In a statement distributed by her attorney on Thursday, Tian said China should consider the standards of the European Union regarding the chemical melamine. She also said other independent companies under the Sanlu umbrella produced some of the “tainted milk powder” and their leaders should also shoulder some responsibility.

Tian said she did not intentionally sell tainted product and had taken several steps aimed at making up for the harm caused, Xinhua reported.

In her closing statement, Tian tearfully apologized.

“If it meant that I could get back the health of all the sick children, I would be willing to accept any legal punishment,” she said.

The three other executives on trial are former deputy general managers Wang Yuliang and Hang Zhiqi, and Wu Jusheng, a former executive heading Sanlu’s milk division.

Read the rest:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WOR
LD/asiapcf/01/01/china.milk/
index.html


Related:
http://www.exfn.com/china-dairi
es-offer-text-apology

China Boss Delayed Finding Poisoned Milk for Four Months

December 31, 2008

Westerners first need to know this is a show trial conducted before state media. The second thing to know is that melamine, which is poisonous to humans in great enough concentrations, had been routinely mixed into food products in China for years — and other similar tainted substances for decades.  The reason this issue exploded on to the international scene was the deaths of children — not the communist government’s honesty and righteousness….

I pesonally saw improper use of chemicals like animal feed and fertilizer added to food products in China 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.

It is good the world community is now aware of this practice and that China is taking action….

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

******

A former dairy boss who could face the death penalty in China’s tainted milk scandal testified Wednesday that she began investigating milk-quality issues in May but did not notify authorities until August, a state news agency said.

Tian Wenhua, former board chairwoman and general manager of Sanlu Group Co., went on trial along with three other top executives over infant formula contaminated with the industrial chemical melamine, the Xinhua News Agency said. They could be executed if convicted, the China Daily newspaper reported.

By ANITA CHANG, Associated Press Writer

In this Sept. 18, 2008 file photo, a child cries as he waits ... 
In this Sept. 18, 2008 file photo, a child cries as he waits for ultrasound exam to look for problems related to consuming tainted milk formula at a hospital in Shi Jiazhuang, north China’s Hebei province. The companies whose tainted milk products sickened nearly 300,000 children and were blamed in the deaths of six will likely pay 1.1 billion yuan ($160 million) in compensation to victims’ families, a state-run newspaper said Tuesday.(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)

Melamine, commonly used to make plastics and fertilizer, has been blamed for the deaths of at least six children and sickening nearly 300,000 others.

Authorities say milk suppliers mixed the nitrogen-rich powder into raw milk in order to fool quality tests for protein. When ingested in large amounts, melamine can cause kidney stones and kidney failure.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/2008123
1/ap_on_re_as/as_china_tainted_milk

**************

From Reuters:
In the lead-up to the high-profile trial and after repeated promises that China has put a lid on the problem, fresh quality scares have surfaced.

More than 1,500 boxes of Chinese biscuits exported to Hong Kong and Singapore have tested positive for melamine, local media reported Tuesday.

The melamine scare has also prompted quality inspectors to test tableware “following reports that some products contained poisonous ingredients,” Xinhua said Wednesday in a separate report.

The baby milk formula scandal has also opened up a festering debate about appropriate compensation for victims and their families.

Twenty-two local dairy companies that were found to have produced melamine-tainted milk had pledged to cover medical costs for affected children until they turn 18, the China Daily said.

But terms, which include a 2,000 yuan one-off payment for victims with “mild symptoms,” have been greeted with skepticism.

“I’ll never accept that amount,” Wu Yanfang, a mother whose 16-month girl still has a stone in her kidney, told the paper.

(Additional reporting by Nick Macfie; Editing by Dean Yates)

CNN:
http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf
/12/30/china.sanlu/index.html

China: Another New Melamine Scandal; Poisoned Food Products

December 30, 2008

During the same week that China is prosecuting dairymen for wrongdoing in the melamine deaths and illnesses of children, the banned additive which is generally used (outside China) to make plastics, has reappeared in cookies and biscuits in Hong Kong and Singapore.

On Christmas eve, it was melamine laced seafood from China that grabbed headlines.

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…..
.
I first saw the improper mixing and use of human food products and 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.

By John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia

An officer prepares to destroy unqualified milk powder which ... 
An officer prepares to destroy unqualified milk powder which was confiscated, in Shanghai November 14, 2008.REUTERS/Stringer

***************************

More than 1,500 boxes of Chinese biscuits exported to Hong Kong and Singapore have tested positive for melamine as suspects in the protracted tainted-food scandal go on trial in China, local media reported on Tuesday.

The scandal has battered faith in Chinese-made products after a series of food- and product-safety scares and led to recalls of Chinese-made dairy products around the world. At least six babies died after drinking contaminated formula in China and hundreds of thousands fell ill.

Melamine is an industrial compound used in making plastic chairs, among other things, and is added to food to cheat nutrition tests.

Quality inspectors in Dongguan in the southern province of Guangdong found the latest contaminated biscuits after examining 13 batches of 4,800 boxes for export after neighboring Hong Kong, a “special administrative region” of China, and Singapore reported tainted samples, the China News Service said.

The tainted products had been destroyed while others were sent back to the manufacturer, it said. Investigations showed the melamine in the biscuits came from milk powder, it added.

Tian Wenhua, former chairwoman of Sanlu Group, goes on trial on Wednesday along with other three senior executives of the company that was at the heart of the scandal and since gone bankrupt, the Beijing News said.

By Monday, 17 suspects involved in producing, selling, buying and adding melamine into raw milk had gone on trial, the China News Service said.

(Reporting by Liu Zhen; Editing by Nick Macfie from Reuters)

****************

Two more suspects in China‘s tainted milk scandal went on trial Tuesday, bringing to 17 the number who have faced court in high-profile proceedings over the nation’s worst food safety case in years.

AFP

Brothers Geng Jinping and Geng Jinzhu are accused of making and selling milk tainted with melamine, state-run television CCTV said, broadcasting images of the two standing in court with their heads bowed in front of the judges.

At least six babies in China died this year and 294,000 fell ill after drinking milk laced with melamine, which is normally used to make plastic.

The chemical was mixed into watered-down milk to make it appear richer in protein but it caused severe kidney and urinary tract problems in babies who drank contaminated milk powder.

The Gengs are accused of being “middlemen” who added melamine to milk, which was then sold to Sanlu, the largest Chinese dairy producer to have become embroiled in the scandal, and other dairy firms, CCTV said.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081230/wl_asia_afp
/chinafoodsafetymilkchild_081230132956

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. The former head of the Chinese firm at the centre of the tainted milk scandal could face the death penalty if convicted. Tian Wenhua will stand trial next week.(AFP/File/Str)

Related:
2008: China Hoped Only For Olympic Glory; Wound Up with Chaos in Tibet, Earthquake, Troubles

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
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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