Remember melamine, last year’s pet-killing poison? It’s back with a vengeance, and this year it wants Chinese babies. As many as 10,000 may have consumed melamine-laced milk powder, according to authorities. Even worse, a New Zealand company detected the poison weeks ago but couldn’t convince local officials to issue a recall. Only after New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark demanded action did the Chinese recall the death milk.
Two brothers surnamed Geng were arrested for “producing and selling toxic and hazardous food,” police in Hebei, the north Chinese province where Sanlu is based, told Xinhua.
From late last year they added melamine to the 3 tonnes of milk they sold on from farmers every day, the report said.
“Geng did so because he suffered losses after milk from his station had been rejected several times by Sanlu Group,” it said.
Farmers or dealers may have diluted milk with water and added melamine, used in plastics, to make the protein level appear higher than it really was.
Thankfully, none of the tainted milk powder was exported to North America.
Liu Changjiang, minister of GAQSIQ (the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine for those who forgot,) strongly condemned the Sanlu Group, which may have known of the contamination back in March, saying:
“It’s shocking. It’s a crime against the people.”
No no, dear friend. After last year’s scandals, not even 10,000 poisoned babies counts as shocking.
(Though, obviously, it’s a terrible tragedy.)
Tainted formula again raises concerns about Chinese products [Boston Herald]
Hundreds affected in milk scandal [Reuters]
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