Chinese poison scandal widens
I can't imagine how China could possibly bounce back from yet another report of poisonous manufacturing and production practices - and in the case of the milk powder laced with melamine story, the details are becoming ever more grim as the recall list expands and more babies fall ill.
A chemical blamed for killing two infants in China has now been found in 69 brands of baby formula nationwide, state television said Tuesday, in an apparent dramatic escalation of the scandal.
The government has ordered a halt to the sale of the 69 milk powder brands tainted with the chemical melamine, said the report by state-run CCTV, adding the products were made by 22 different companies spread across China.
Tainted milk powder has sickened more than 1,200 infants so far across several provinces in a scandal that erupted last week but had originally focused solely on the Sanlu brand.
But it's not just the milk powder that's been tainted - further investigation into milk powder producers and other dairy firms found that 20% of Chinese dairy companies used melamine in their products. Melamine is a banned toxin, and was just recently in the news when contaminated dog food killed many pets in the US last year.
Melamine can make the protein level in dairy products appear higher than it is. The chemical, used to make plastics and in tanning leather, was found in exported pet food last year and blamed for killing thousands of cats and dogs in the U.S.
China has been beset by scandals about toxic and unsafe products in recent years. In 2004, at least 13 babies died after drinking fake milk powder that had no nutritional value.
So far, 4 people have been arrested in connection with this tragic melamine scandal, with an additional 22 people being detained by police for questioning. It is expected that this situation is expected to escalate further as new developments come into play.