Sunday, September 14, 2008

Babies in danger

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China said on Saturday that it believed 432 babies across the country had been made ill by contaminated milk powder which caused them to develop kidney stones.... baby formula had been contaminated with melamine, a toxin linked to the deaths and illness of thousands of pets in the United States last year.

Authorities believe suppliers of milk to Sanlu may have diluted the milk with water and then added melamine, a substance used in plastics, fertilisers and cleaning products, to make the milk's protein levels appear higher than they were.

For full report, see here.

This is a major public relations disaster for the milk manufacturer and another black mark on China's food safety (or rather food scare) record. The manufacturer is partly owned by Fonterra, New Zealand's dairy company which also makes the Fernleaf brand of milk powder if I'm not mistaken. However, I doubt that Fonterra is directly at fault since the milk is manufactured locally in China by the Sanlu Group.

But what's more worrying is the affected babies' health condition. Breast milk is best (but mother's must eat healthily too!).

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