China Death Penalty For Poisoned Milk
Chinese officials have passed a new law providing for severe punishments for adulteration of milk. This comes on the heels of officials addressing WHO saying that the massive additions of melamine to the Chinese milk supply was "accidental".
Until this milk scandal broke on the world stage there were no standards to limit the amount of melamine allowed in dairy milk. Officials in China are scrambling to place blame and to recover the public's confidence in their products which has taken a severe hit.
Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) - The death penalty for those who violate food laws: this is the provision of a new Chinese law announced yesterday by the state council. The provision is intended to regulate the dairy industry in particular, which has been rocked by the melamine scandal, and to bring new trust for Chinese products on the world market.
But this stance will not bring the dead children back to their parents, nor will it help to cure those who have been poisoned: more than 53,000 according to the latest figures, although the number could be much higher. The relatives of the victims, however, have been denied their right to seek justice and obtain compensation, while the courts seem to be ignoring the lawsuits filed by some lawyers. "Parents are angry. What they need is justice," says Ji Cheng, a Beijing lawyer who has filed a lawsuit against Sanlu, in the province of Henan.
This scenario has already been seen in the past with SARS, when efforts were made to cover up the scandal, followed by repressive action once the scandal exploded and became public knowledge. Then, like today, this generated significant concerns about China's integrity.