Chinese milk powder scandal

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Chinese milk powder scandal

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Dairy products have tested positive for the chemical melamine - used in the manufacture of flame retardant, counter tops, glues and fertilisers - which could have been added to milk sold to San Lu to boost the apparent protein content for quality tests.

Death toll rises to four, 18 arrests

A fourth person was reported dead last night as police in China arrested 12 more people in the growing scandal over poisoned milk powder.

The Government in the far western region of Xinjiang said a person had died there after consuming tainted milk powder. A notice on the Government's website did not say whether the victim was a baby.

Earlier a spokesman for Hebei provincial police said a dozen arrests had been made yesterday, bringing the total in custody to 18.

Chinese dairy company San Lu, which is 43 per cent owned by Fonterra, is one of 22 companies caught up in the crisis that has killed at least three babies, poisoned 6244 infants and left 158 suffering from acute kidney failure.

Dairy products have tested positive for the chemical melamine - used in the manufacture of flame retardant, counter tops, glues and fertilisers - which could have been added to milk sold to San Lu to boost the apparent protein content for quality tests.

China's quality control watchdog said 5000 inspectors would be sent to monitor companies nationwide.

Anne-Marie Brady, senior lecturer in political science and a specialist in Chinese politics at the University of Canterbury, said: "People are outraged because Chinese people value children so much and they're only allowed to have one."

Fonterra has three directors on the San Lu board - New Zealanders Bob Major and Mark Wilson, plus Chinese national Patrick Kwok.

The chairwoman of San Lu had been sacked and detained by police. Foreign national directors were generally treated more leniently, she said.

from http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news ... d=10532997

Fonterra is a gaint dairy company in New Zealand.

Babies face long term kidney problems
September 19, 2008, 9:31 am
Thousands of babies affected by melamine-tainted milk face long term kidney problems.

Four babies are dead, and more than 6000 are sick after drinking infant formula, produced by Sanlu in China.

Christchurch paediatric urologist Stephen Mark says there is a significant chance more babies will die. He says although kidney stones do not usually cause death, infections from blockages can. He says treatment depends on the size and location of the stone and expects some will need operations to remove them.

The scandal has now spread to milk, ice-cream and yoghurt ice bars.

There are also claims in China that Fonterra-linked Sanlu knew about its contaminated milk as early as 2005. The claim comes from an official in Hebei province which surrounds Beijing .

Meanwhile Sanlu is still struggling to trace 35 tonnes of contaminated powder. Newly elected Chairman, Zhang Zhenling, says they are dispatching staff to remote rural and mountainous areas to retrieve the milk powder. Sanlu's milk is popular among poorer Chinese parents because it was seen as reliable but relatively cheap. Products from 22 companies have now been found to be contaminated with melamine.

One Chinese official claims Sanlu knew melamine was being used in its milk as long ago as 2005 - and that 41 of 372 milk stations supply the company had been found to have problems.

from http://nz.news.yahoo.com/a/-/top-storie ... -problems/

Becareful of any food products you have that come from China :!:

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Re: Chinese milk powder scandal

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Its very sad isn't it... That the government was corrupt and allowed something like that to happen... Makes you wonder what kind of things are sneaking past our government...
-Silv

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Re: Chinese milk powder scandal

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In Canada a huge news story has been Listeria found in Maple Leaf products (extremely popular Canadian processed meat company.) The problem here is that Maple Leaf's factories are rented by many other companies, and so you have so many different meat labels that could be from Maple Leaf. Hundreds have been listed to have been part of the recalls so far. Some people have died and thousands have become sick. Maple Leaf has taken responsibility for this and have apologized again and again, and for a time almost daily (and stating that the cause was a lack of proper cleanliness.) But they may never fully recover from this. Even around here, although no known outbreaks of Listeria have been reported hardly anyone is eating processed meats (I've been using canned meats such as salmon and corned beef for sandwiches I take to work.)

Another complication in the matter is the fact that the symptoms of Listeria are exactly like getting a bad case of the flu, and that makes it hard to treat everyone infected straight away, partly as many people presume it really is just the flu. It is only life-threatening to those with low immunities, including pregnant women (and their babies (several of whom have died from the outbreak.)

To make matters worse, Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Fritz made a couple crude jokes about the tragic outbreak, including, "This is like a death by a thousand cuts. Or should I say cold cuts." For such comments Fritz has basically hidden from the media, giving them only an anxious reading of a prepared speech (bla bla bla), and our beloved dictator-wannabe, Prime Minister Harper, has refused to kick his ass out of office.

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Re: Chinese milk powder scandal

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Melamine found in sweets on sale in NZ
Unacceptably high levels of melamine have been found in a Chinese milk sweet on sale in New Zealand.

The New Zealand Food Safety Authority has issued a warning about the White Rabbit sweets, which the New Zealand Herald discovered on sale in Chinese supermarkets.

Testing found the presence of 180 ppm of melamine, the substance which has been implicated in the tainted baby milk powder scandal in China.

"This is a serious concern" said Sandra Daly, NZFSA's Deputy Chief Executive.

"We have issued a Director General's statement advising people not to eat these products as we cannot discount the likelihood of health risks resulting from the consumption of these sweets. The product appears to come from a number of manufacturers via a number of importers and we are advising against eating any of these products."

The Food Safety Authority has said that any parents worried about the sweets should contact their medical practitioner.

The Authority said in a statement that the Ministry of Health reportered no increase in the number of kidney problems in children in New Zealand.

"While the science on the presence of melamine is evolving it appears from the current Chinese situation that infants are affected by the presence of fairly low levels of melamine, it appears that older children or adults are not as susceptible."

White Rabbit Creamy Candy was found to be contaminated with melamine after tests in Singapore. The New Zealand Authority decided to test the products after the Herald found the same sweets on sale in Auckland.

China's tainted-milk scandal started after milk powder sold by various milk companies including New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra's Chinese partner San Lu was found to be contaminated with melamine, and has become a global food scare.

In China, four babies have died and nearly 13,00 have been hospitalised with kidney problems. Of these, China's health ministry says, 104 are in serious condition.

Hospitals throughout China had seen almost 40,000 infants and 1579 babies had been discharged, the ministry said.

The Food Safety Authority said today it was working with importers to ensure they are confident the products they sell meet all New Zealand food safety standards.

It has also asked the Customs Department to identify any products that might be risky coming from China. They will then be sampled and tested.

from http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/artic ... d=10533978

Like I said:
Dark Knight wrote: Becareful of any food products you have that come from China :!:

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Re: Chinese milk powder scandal

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Silvanus wrote:Its very sad isn't it... That the government was corrupt and allowed something like that to happen... Makes you wonder what kind of things are sneaking past our government...
They also delayed the matter probably because of the games:
China's official Xinhua news agency also reported yesterday that Communist officials in the northern city of Shijiazhuang, where San Lu is based, delayed referring the matter to higher authorities for more than a month after they were told of it in early August.
From http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/artic ... d=10533828

Neuro it is good they are taking responsibility for the Listeria found in Maple Leaf products and have apologized.

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Re: Chinese milk powder scandal

Post by Neurolanis »

Dark Knight wrote:
Silvanus wrote:Its very sad isn't it... That the government was corrupt and allowed something like that to happen... Makes you wonder what kind of things are sneaking past our government...
They also delayed the matter probably because of the games:
China's official Xinhua news agency also reported yesterday that Communist officials in the northern city of Shijiazhuang, where San Lu is based, delayed referring the matter to higher authorities for more than a month after they were told of it in early August.
From http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/artic ... d=10533828

Neuro it is good they are taking responsibility for the Listeria found in Maple Leaf products and have apologized.
Yeah it is a good thing. I am suspicious that it was a terrorist act however (Canada has been threatened recently by the Al Qaeda.)


So much food contamination, and much of it from China. Very suspicious. Are we witnessing a worldwide food war (bio-warfare?) It certainly has the cultural impact of terrorism.

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Re: Chinese milk powder scandal

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Leaked memo outlines hush money initiatives for San Lu

A leaked memo, purportedly from dairy company San Lu's PR company, suggested paying people off to keep quiet about the emerging contaminated milk crisis.

Production at the Chinese company, 43 per cent owned by New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra, has been shut down and its products recalled after its baby formula was found contaminated with melamine.

The contamination has led to the deaths of four infants and illnesses to thousands of others.

San Lu allegedly cut a deal worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to cover up negative reports about poisoned babies more than a week after Fonterra was alerted to the crisis, the Sunday Star-Times reported today.

Carried on Chinese weblogs, the memo, dated August 11, contained initiatives about how to suppress growing numbers of damaging references to San Lu

They included doing "anything to pacify victims and accept all they want to keep them silent for at least two years", and cutting a deal with local internet search engine Baidu to have negative online stories blocked.

The memo allegedly referred to San Lu having agreed to buy $640,000 of advertising with Baidu in return for stifling the negative publicity.

Fonterra has said it pushed for a public recall of the contaminated product as soon as it learned of possible contamination issues, but was hampered by Chinese processes.

Action was eventually taken when the New Zealand Government intervened.

Fonterra spokesman Graeme McMillan said the company, which has directors on the board of Sanlu, was not aware of any PR strategies.

"It was never discussed at the San Lu board or with any of the Fonterra related staff interacting with Sanlu," he said. "The board were totally unaware of it."

Meanwhile, reports from China say San Lu may be sold to a rival in that country following the scandal.

However, Fonterra yesterday said it had not been approached about selling its stake in the company.

Fonterra has poured about $200 million into Sanlu since paying $150 for its initial stake in December 2005.

But it has now written down the investment's book value by $139 million, leaving it worth only about $62 million after Mr Ferrier said the San Lu brand could not be re-constructed.

- NZPA

from http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/artic ... 47&ref=rss

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Re: Chinese milk powder scandal

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Chocolate recall spreads
4:00AM Tuesday Sep 30, 2008

Cadbury last night became the latest multinational company to pull products off Asian shelves because of the Chinese melamine scare.

The British company recalled 11 chocolate products made at its Beijing factory, which are distributed in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Australia. It was not clear last night whether the products were sold in New Zealand.

Tests "cast doubt on the integrity of a range of our products manufactured in China", Cadbury said without elaboration in a statement issued from its office in Singapore. It did not say whether the tests revealed melamine.

Earlier, Indonesia reported high traces of melamine in Oreo wafers, M&Ms and Snickers bars imported from China.

The country's Food and Drug Monitoring Agency said a dozen allegedly tainted products, including those popular brands, had repeatedly tested positive last week.

Kraft Foods and Mars said they were sticking to a recall order, but emphasised the same products were cleared of melamine in other Asian countries.

They were looking into explanations, including the possibility that the goods could be counterfeit.

The companies said they would conduct their own tests.

Snickers bars and M&Ms sold in New Zealand are made in Australia.

Meanwhile, a New Zealand company that is one of the world's biggest exporters of the hugely expensive dairy protein lactoferrin has suspended exports in order to clarify how it was contaminated by melamine.

Tatua Co-operative Dairy Co in Morrinsville said yesterday it expected dairy exporters were in future likely to test for melamine contamination before releasing goods for sale.

Tatua's board will meet today and is expected to discuss the contamination.

A Chinese customer told Tatua's agent two weeks ago that melamine had been detected in its product in China.

Further tests were done in China and New Zealand. Results on September 22 and 23 confirmed contamination at less than four parts a million.

The New Zealand Food Safety Authority inspected the factory on September 24.

Tatua chief executive Paul McGilvary said yesterday the company's own investigation detected no melamine in its raw milk.

The other two manufacturers of lactoferrin, Fonterra and Westland, say their products are not contaminated.

- AP, NZPA

from http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/artic ... d=10534909

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Re: Chinese milk powder scandal

Post by Ariel »

My God! When I was growing up, you never heard of all this food being contaminated. How many food scares have we had? There was spinich, lettuce, pet food, meat...The list goes on and on. For any human being to knowingly harm another is inexcusable.

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Re: Chinese milk powder scandal

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Yes I agree it is inexcusable.

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Re: Chinese milk powder scandal

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Gangsters linked to milk scandal
4:00AM Saturday Oct 18, 2008
By Paula Oliver

Organised crime interests were behind the Chinese tainted milk scandal which resulted in the death of at least four infants, a previously confidential briefing paper to Prime Minister Helen Clark suggests.

The paper was written by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Helen Clark and faxed to her home on September 5, triggering New Zealand Government action which eventually led to the scandal becoming public days later.

The briefing paints a picture of high-level concerns that the emerging food safety scandal could harm New Zealand's interests. It gives ministers the option of agreeing to the New Zealand Embassy making contact with Chinese authorities - this was done.

"The Chinese milk supply has been targeted by Chinese organised crime, which has been adding a byproduct of the chemical industry, melamine, to raw milk supplied to processing plants," the paper states.

"The harmful impact on consumers, particularly Chinese infants who are the most at-risk group, is the most serious concern."

The ministry clearly warned the issue was likely to become public at some point and urged appropriate action from ministers, while noting action should be taken in a way that "minimises the risks to New Zealand's reputation and interests".

Tainted milk left tens of thousands of infants ill and at least four dead in China and local dairy giant Fonterra was implicated as 43 per cent owner of milk powder producer San Lu.

Helen Clark has previously indicated she was disturbed enough by what she read in the briefing paper to see quick action was taken.

The document has been released to the Weekend Herald under the Official Information Act although large chunks of it have been deleted.

Among the deleted sections is one on New Zealand's "international responsibilities", while another missing piece covers the response by Chinese authorities to Fonterra's concerns about the milk. However, part of the paper indicates tension between Fonterra and Chinese authorities.

"Fonterra advises that by mid-September all of the adulterated product should have been accounted for or consumed," the paper states.

"This suggests that despite the authorities' reticence to support a full product recall, San Lu/Fonterra have managed to achieve a similar outcome through a variety of other methods."

The ministry provided Helen Clark and other ministers with suggested "defensive talking points" to use if the issue became public and they were asked about it. The tenor of the answers is to talk about San Lu as a "victim" of deliberate and illegal attempts to dilute milk, and to say it is a problem occurring within China that Fonterra has done its best to act on.

The suggested answers even point out that Fonterra's joint venture company has widened its tested procedures and employed an extra 200 staff for this purpose.

Helen Clark appears to have largely ignored the suggested answers to questions, choosing in the days after the scandal broke to say her Government blew the whistle. She also said that local authorities in China would not allow an official recall - something missing from MFAT's advice.

from http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/artic ... d=10538158

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Re: Chinese milk powder scandal

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1500 dogs dead after eating melamine-tainted food
8:41AM Tuesday Oct 21, 2008
Gillian Wong

BEIJING - Some 1500 Chinese dogs have died after eating melamine-tainted animal feed, the latest contamination involving the chemical in a scandal that has sickened tens of thousands of babies and raised questions about the prevalence of the toxin in the country's food chain.

The raccoon dogs - a breed native to east Asia that is raised for its fur - were fed a product that contained melamine and developed kidney stones, Zhang Wenkui, a veterinary professor at Shenyang Agriculture University, said Monday. All of the dogs died on farms in just one village.

"First, we found melamine in the dogs' feed, and second, I found that 25 per cent of the stones in the dogs' kidneys were made up of melamine," said Zhang, who determined that the animals died of kidney failure after performing a necropsy - an animal autopsy - on about a dozen dogs.

The animals take their name from their fur, which resembles that of raccoons, and is used to make clothing, especially coats.

Zhang declined to say when the deaths occurred but a report in the Southern Metropolis Daily said they had been over the past two months.

The newspaper also blamed the deaths of several hundred dogs on melamine, but it was not immediately clear how the chemical entered the feed.

In the ongoing tainted milk scandal, which has been linked to the deaths of four babies, melamine was said to be added to watered-down milk to artificially boost nitrogen levels, making products seem higher in protein when tested. Some 54,000 children were also sickened.

The animal deaths were also a reminder of last year's uproar over a Chinese-made pet food ingredient containing melamine that was linked to the deaths of dozens of dogs and cats in the United States.

At the time, China's product safety authorities revoked the business licenses of questionable firms, announced tougher guidelines and increased inspections. But countless small and illegally operated manufacturers found throughout the country make monitoring hard. It also makes it difficult to define the supply chain and trace the origin of components, chemicals and food additives.

"It's still happening because it's enormously profitable. It's much cheaper to put melamine in as a nitrogen source than to put a real source in," said Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University who wrote a book about the tainted pet food scandal.

"You're going to have this kind of thing until you have a food safety system that's adequate to oversee what's going on or provide enough of a deterrent that people doing this think there's too much of a chance they're going to get caught," she said.

More at http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/ar ... d=10538604

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