News & Current Affairs

September 22, 2008

‘Thousands ill’ due to China milk

‘Thousands ill’ due to China milk

Nearly 13,000 children in China have been hospitalized due to tainted Chinese milk powder, officials say.

China’s health ministry said 104 out of 12,892 babies showed serious symptoms.

Four infants have died after drinking the milk of the Sanlu Group containing the industrial chemical melamine, which could cause urinary problems.

Meanwhile, in Hong Kong, a toddler has been diagnosed with a kidney stone after drinking the powder – the first such case outside mainland China.

A number of Asian and African countries have now banned Chinese dairy imports following the scandal.

Chinese police have arrested 18 people in connection with the scandal.

Premier’s pledge

At a regular news briefing in Beijing, officials from the Chinese health ministry said 12,892 infants were currently being treated in hospitals around the country.

Chinese customers queue to return suspect milk powder brands purchased at a supermarket in Hefei, Anhui province on 19/09/08

Chinese and Hong Kong authorities have recalled tainted products

They said that 1,579 babies had been treated and discharged, adding that hospitals had checked nearly 40,000 baby patients.

Meanwhile, Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao said that the authorities were doing everything possible to “prevent this happening again, not just with milk products, but with all foods”.

In Hong Kong, a three-year-old girl was diagnosed with a kidney stone after drinking Chinese milk powder, the government said.

It said the toddler, who had drunk China’s Yili milk every day for 15 months, had not developed kidney disease and had been discharged from hospital.

Melamine was first found in baby milk powder made by the Sanlu Group. In total, melamine has been found in products made by 22 companies, including Yili.

Suppliers are believed to have added melamine, a banned chemical normally used in plastics, to diluted milk to make it appear higher in protein.

The additive is blamed for causing severe renal problems and kidney stones.

Are you in China? Have you used the tainted milk powder? Are you affected by the issues in this story? Send us your comments


  1. Dang! tainted milk powder in China and $900 billion tainted dollars in the US…..tat company with the star in the name is doin’ its thig… “cheap”….”cheap”…”cheap” for whatever it cost!

    Comment by madmilker — September 22, 2008 @ 3:09 am

  2. So far, no one has brought up the fact that in the US, about 8 months ago, last year maybe, hundreds and probably thousands of pedigreed cats died from eating expensive, professional branded cat food which contained rice flour from China containing melamine. It took awhile to find out what was causing the illness, but the deaths were all kidney failure related to the melamine, just like the babies. One would think that that would have been enough for the Chinese gov’t to start looking at their product control. This rice flour was being shipped and then used by reputable factories that had no reason to doubt the reliability of the product. Who would?
    It is easy to say one should boycott foods that come from China, but we don’t know the primary sources of ingredients in most processed foods. The next best thing is to boycott all Chinese made products until they clean up their act.
    Presumably they wrote off the pet food scandal because they were ‘only cats’. Chinese have little affection or understanding of cats. However, breeders may have thousands of dollars invested and thousands more lost in future revenue. If they had not taken this attitude, their own children might not have had to suffer and die. A horrendous tragedy for parents who are allowed only one child.
    I believe that CNN should investigate and report on the pet food problems in the US and connect it to this story, as there is no telling where it will surface next. Maybe in your Cheerios!

    Comment by zainab — September 22, 2008 @ 9:29 am

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