Tainted milk – toxic
This post is especially for Burma/Myanmar where some users may need reliable information about imported toxic milk from China.
China tries to reassure public over milk scare
Melamine has been blamed for the China milk crisis that has sickened nearly 53,000 children
Tags with the Chinese characters reading “does not contain melamine” at a supermarket in Chengdu
A saleswoman places a label showing the Chinese characters “does not contain melamine” at a supermarket in Chengdu
Milk products for sale in Manila
BEIJING (AFP) — China on Saturday scrambled to reassure the public over a toxic milk scandal, announcing that nearly 50 Chinese brands which had been tested contained no melamine.
The government said it had tested 47 brands of milk and yoghurt and detected no trace of melamine, the industrial chemical discovered in baby milk powder that has sickened 53,000 children and killed four so far.
China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision checked 296 batches of dairy products from the brands across the country’s major cities, an official at the agency confirmed to AFP on Saturday.
“No melamine was detected,” the agency said on its website.
The test was good news for China, which has sought to contain a scandal that has had global repercussions, with countries and regions around the world rushing to ban or restrict its milk products.
The European Union on Friday decided to stop all imports of baby food containing traces of milk from China, and Hong Kong ordered a recall of two products found to contain melamine, including a brand of Heinz baby food.
Japan meanwhile has ordered firms which import dairy products from China to test them for melamine after the chemical — which is normally used to make plastics — was found in four items made by one of its leading food makers.
In China, where more than 7,000 tonnes of tainted dairy products had already been removed from shops across the country, a popular candy brand became the latest victim on Friday.
The maker of White Rabbit sweets, given to US president Richard Nixon on a landmark 1972 trip, announced it was halting domestic sales after its products were found to contain melamine.
“Currently, it is extremely important to restore consumer confidence in the country’s milk product brands,” Chen Deming, Commerce Minister, said Saturday in a statement on the central government website.
“This can only be achieved through our efforts, through effective monitoring and detection.”
New cases of children falling ill after drinking tainted milk also continued to emerge in China, with 176 new cases detected in the capital, the Beijing Times reported Saturday.
Authorities in Shanghai also revealed that about five percent of children under three in the city had showed symptoms of possible kidney stones after being fed contaminated milk powder, the China Daily said Friday.
A hospital in Taiwan said three young children had developed kidney stones after drinking Chinese milk formula, and the mother of one of the children had also fallen ill.
Hong Kong has reported five cases of children falling ill from drinking tainted milk, in the only other cases reported outside mainland China so far.
Chinese scientists said they were developing a chemical substance that could detect melamine fast and cheaply, and could be used by any dairy farmer, the official Xinhua news agency reported Saturday.
Professors at Lanzhou University in northwest China told Xinhua a dose of the reagent could detect traces of melamine in 20 minutes and would only cost 20 yuan (3 dollars), compared to the longer process of laboratory testing.
The university is to develop the reagent at the request of the government in Gansu province.
China toxic milk victims seen to rise by 10,000
By Chris Buckley
BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese provinces have reported nearly 10,000 additional cases of children who have developed kidney illnesses after drinking toxic milk formula in recent days, local media reported on Friday.
Attention on the growing scandal in China was at least temporarily overshadowed by the launch late on Thursday of China’s third manned space mission, which is set to include the technologically ambitious nation’s first space walk.
But Beijing is battling public alarm and international dismay after thousands of Chinese children were hospitalized, sick from milk formula tainted with melamine, a cheap industrial chemical that can be used to cheat quality checks. Four have died.
The Ministry of Health has not issued a fresh count of infants suffering kidney problems and complications since Sunday.
It said then that 12,892 were in hospital, 104 with serious illness, and close to 40,000 others were affected but did not need major treatment.
However more recent counts from province-level health authority numbers across the country showed that at least another 9,959 cases have been diagnosed this week with illnesses linked to the toxic milk.
Much of that rise was in Hebei, the northern province that is home to Sanlu Dairy group, which made the contaminated formula that sparked the broader milk scandal.
The Hebei Daily (hbrb.hebnews.cn) said Hebei province alone had diagnosed 13,773 cases up to Thursday, an increase of 4,794 on four days earlier.
Shao Mingli, head of the State Food and Drug Administration, warned his staff that the government would not tolerate cover-ups or reporting delays, after local officials sat on news for at least a month — if not longer — that Sanlu’s milk was suspect.
“Under no circumstances turn a deaf ear to people’s complaints and pretend they do not exist,” he told a meeting, according to the transcript of a speech on the watchdog’s website (www.sda.gov.cn).
Millions across China watched the launch of the Shenzhou VII spacecraft on live television on Thursday and images of the rocket blasting off dominated official newspapers.
But the health and political fallout from children poisoned with melamine is hardly likely to disappear soon.
There are no numbers available yet for China’s big commercial hub, Shanghai, but state media said many infants there may have been affected.
“A recent city-wide health check of children under three years old showed about five percent were diagnosed with symptoms of possible kidney stones after being fed contaminated powdered milk,” the China Daily reported.
The count of recent provincial-level numbers indicated 1,019 additional children were hospitalized this week. But the statistics did not make clear if those cases were included in or separate from the larger number diagnosed with kidney damage.
The count from provincial sources showed no new deaths. The World Health Organization (WHO) representative in China said effective medical help made many more deaths unlikely.
“We don’t expect a large increase in the number of deaths, because we have to remember that a child usually doesn’t die from a kidney stone itself, but from its complications,” WHO representative Hans Troedsson told a news conference in Beijing.
“… the treatment has been shown (to be) effective in China,” he said.
The Maldives became the latest country to pull Chinese dairy products from its shelves.
“Our inspectors have gone out, plus we are warning the public on TV and radio,” said Moosa Anwar, director-general at the Maldives Food and Drug Authority.
Hong Kong’s government set up a taskforce on Friday that will find ways to manage the huge numbers of children turning up for kidney examinations and to cope with mainland Chinese who are traveling to Hong Kong to have their children checked.
Five cases of children made sick by drinking tainted milk have been reported in Hong Kong.
Taiwan media reported three cases involving four children and an adult with kidney stones or signs of calcification in the kidneys. In one case, a 3-year-old girl and her 2-year-old brother were found to have kidney stones after drinking milk made with powder from China, the Liberty Times reported.
The European Commission proposed on Thursday tests and restrictions on Chinese food products containing powdered milk. UNICEF and the World Health Organization called China’s growing milk scandal “deplorable.”
In Shanghai, the producer of China’s popular White Rabbit Creamy Candies said it would stop domestic sales of such sweets, Xinhua news agency quoted an official as saying.
The candy’s producer, Guanshengyuan, had earlier recalled its exports to more than 50 countries.
Nitrogen-rich melamine can be added to substandard or watered-down milk to fool quality checks, which often use nitrogen levels to measure the amount of protein in milk. The chemical is used in pesticides and in making plastics.
(Additional reporting by James Pomfret and Tan Ee Lyn in Hong Kong, Judith Evans in Male, Gina Chang in Taipei and Liu Zhen, Yu Le and Ben Blanchard in Beijing; Editing by Paul Tait)