China arrests 96 for tainted milk power scandal

Ninety-six people are behind the bars in China for their involvement in melamine-tainted milk powder scam which killed six children in 2008, Chinese officials said.

Last Updated: Jan 13, 2011, 20:39 PM IST

Beijing: Ninety-six people are behind the
bars in China for their involvement in melamine-tainted milk
powder scam which killed six children in 2008, Chinese
officials said.

The accused were found to have used melamine-tainted
milk powder as raw material to produce dairy products or sell
such dairy products, a statement issued by China`s State
Council`s Food Safety Commission said today.

Among them, 17 had been convicted, including two
people sentenced to life in prison, the statement said.

Thirty-eight people were awaiting trial and 41
others were under investigation in police custody, the
statement said.

Chinese authorities since July last year have
cracked down on the use of indisposed tainted milk powder
produced before the melamine scandal of 2008.

About 2,132 tonnes of melamine-tainted milk powder
was seized in the latest crackdown; Xinhua quoted the
statement as saying.

Loopholes in the quality control system of dairy
products were identified in the campaign, it said.

A total of 191 officials were punished for failing
to do their duty, with 26 of them fired, it said.

In July last year, Dongyuan milk powder, produced in
west China`s Qinghai Province, was found to contain excessive
levels of melamine, a toxic chemical normally used in the
manufacture of plastics, which triggered the nationwide
crackdown.

It is the latest blitz on tainted milk products
since 2008 when melamine-tainted milk powder killed at least
six infants and s 300,000 children fell sick across the
country.

PTI