Did China Cover Up The Melamine Milk Scandal Because Of The Olympics?

The New York Times says that China’s state-controlled media has admitted that “one of China’s biggest dairy producers received consumer complaints about its baby milk formula as early as December 2007 — much earlier than previously thought and nine months before the producer ordered a nationwide recall because of concerns that the formula had been adulterated with a toxic industrial chemical.”

The chemical, melamine, is the same chemical that was responsible for the pet food recalls last year, and has caused 53,000 illnesses in children — including nearly 13,000 hospitalizations and 4 deaths.

The NYT says that there is widespread speculation that the contamination was being covered up due to government pressure tied to the Olympic games.

The delays have led to widespread speculation in China that the Sanlu Group and some government officials were attempting to cover up the scandal during the Olympics because Beijing had pressured Chinese journalists and companies not to release negative news.

22 companies have been caught producing melamine tainted dairy products, leading to something of a panic in China. The substance, used in the manufacture of plastics, looks like protein when tested and was used to artificially increase the protein count of the milk.

China Milk Cover-Up Started Last Year [NYT]
(Photo: Getty)


Edit Your Comment

  1. econobiker says:


    China Did Cover Up The Melamine Milk Scandal Because Of The Olympics.

    This is a communist country which kills or imprisons those who disent against it. This country censors the internet.

    Why would they NOT squash a potential public relations disaster at the height of national pride?

  2. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot says:

    Sadly enough, this doesn’t surprise me a bit.

    • Ein2015 says:

      @Neecy: I was thinking the same thing.

      What also doesn’t surprise me is that the USFG (United States Federal Government) doesn’t seem to care a whole lot.

  3. mdoublej says:

    What more can you expect from the people who pee-peed in your Coke?

  4. m2ky2fo says:

    Ummm DUH….of course they did….not to mention the Heparin debacle.

    Baxter’s supplier is a U.S.-based company, Scientific Protein Laboratories, which operates one facility in Wisconsin and one in China. The raw material came from China, as most of the world’s heparin API supply does, and was then processed in China or Wisconsin. The decision to source from China is based solely on supply — the majority of the world’s supply of crude heparin comes from China, due to the large number of pigs required. Crude heparin is processed from porcine intestinal mucosa and there are insufficient supplies of this raw material in North America to meet the needs of the U.S. market.

    Though Baxter was first to recall heparin because of increased adverse reactions, after the contaminant was identified and testing protocols were shared with other manufacturers globally, over a dozen other companies in nearly a dozen countries issued recalls, which linked back to certain supply points in China.

  5. BoomerFive says:

    I guarantee that they are STILL covering up the depth of this scandal. Whatever you hear from the Chinese government is usually about 10% of what’s really going on.

  6. "I Like Potatoes" says:

    Of course they did – this is the same country who had a little girl lip-synch at the opening ceremonies because the real girl was so hideously ugly (NOT!) she would just shame the whole country! Lunacy.

  7. jamesn1 says:

    It’s probably worth pointing out that melamine is the same chemical that was found in pet food imported from China a year ago.

  8. m2ky2fo says:

    @jamesn1: Yes that is fairly well reported on as you look at the news outlet stories

  9. Angryrider says:

    Not surprising.
    I read about the babies last year. Sickening that the US media didn’t pick up on this!

  10. Triborough says:

    Made in China = This will probably kill you do not consume.

  11. "I Like Potatoes" says:

    How many of our food products come from China? I’ve noticed that a lot of apple juice says it comes from China. This worries me – I pay more money for juice from the USA. Does all food have to specify it’s origins, though?

    • KSPRAYDAD says:

      @algal924: I absolutely won’t buy food that says made in China. Problem is…I’m in Canada where we’ve had are own food quality issues (looking at you Maple Leaf) and where as long as 50% of the ‘value’ in a product is Canadian it can be labelled as Canadian. MMMM…Canadian Pineapple (it happens!) so you never TRULY know the source of the underlying ingredients.

    • marsneedsrabbits says:


      It’s not as easy as a yes or no answer.
      This should explain some of it:

      Basically, it depends on what the food is (meat, seafood, veggies, etc.).

  12. Justifan says:

    since this is probably just the tip of the iceberg, its just rather frightening to think about

  13. Meathamper says:

    But everybody knew about tainted milk ages ago…this is a new occurence I think.