Beijing: China`s tainted dairy industry
has suffered yet another blow with food safety officials
seizing 64 tonnes of raw milk materials contaminated with
toxic melamine, the chemical responsible for the deaths
of six babies in 2008.
Tests of samples of the milk powder showed up to 500
times up to the maximum allowed level of the chemical, Chinese
state media quoted the quality watchdog in Gansu Province,
where the contaminated milk powder was first discovered, as
Authorities in June found 64 tonnes of raw materials
for making milk powder and 12 tonnes of finished powder
tainted with melamine at a factory in the far western province
of Qinghai, which borders Gansu, the official media said,
addding the owner and a production manager at the factory have
About 38 tonnes of the raw materials were purchased
from north China`s Hebei Province, the source of the 2008
toxic baby formula scandal that brought down the state-run
Sanlu dairy company, police said.
It is possible that traders had bought tainted milk
that was supposed to be destroyed after the 2008 scandal,
planning to process and resell it, said Wang Zhongxi, deputy
chief of the quality control bureau in Gansu.
Use of melamine in milk resulted in the deaths of six
babies and sickened 300,000 in 2008. It also led to huge
worldwide recalls of Chinese dairy products.
A dairy farmer and a milk salesman were executed last
November for their roles in the scandal which also resulted in
the bankruptcy of the state-owned dairy producer Sanlu.
Sanlu`s general manager, Tian Wenhua, was given a life
sentence in January 2009 on charges of producing and selling
fake or substandard products.
Altogether 21 people were convicted in connection with
Melamine which is used to make plastics, fertilisers
and concrete, could indicate a higher protein content when
added to food products. Medical experts warn that it could
cause kidney stones and kidney failure.