Media Controls Over China Milk Scandal
The milk scandal in China is gaining more international attention as the situation worsens. Instead of being transparent, the China government started to enforce controls over media reports and broadcasts about the situation.
People are starting to be concerned about this manipulation on the government's part and chatter is starting to appear in Chinese forums and online discussion groups.
The following came from a dicussion thread:
The above states that reporters are requested by the media to speak with one voice. The exposure of the San Lu dairy case has a tremendous negative effect and the Chinese government is beginning to tighten media controls, trying to close the mouths of reporters. All the media reports can only be based on the Xinhua News Agency. South China Morning Post said the China Youth Daily has already begun to do so.
China Central Television said that they already received a notice last Friday that they can only used the Xinhua News Agency to report on this issue. Others have said that it has been already set in stone and written in black and white that media organizations cannot report on the comments and children suffering from kidney stones and dairy products and other similar situations.
Here are some other comments from bloggers
Fu Rui-Lon criticized how the government controls the media:
” 三鹿毒奶粉案”延烧至9月15日，中宣部一声令下，紧急刹住了全国各家新闻媒体的深入揭批毒奶粉的热潮，连前两天高调批评这起丑闻的中国官方喉舌新华社， 也都取消了批评的语气，转为高调表扬”毒奶粉案”所涉及的各职能部门…一场涉及成千上万个家庭的惨祸，坏事变好事，活生生的转变为党和政府各部门、各级领导身先士卒的光荣模范事迹…都说”多难兴邦”，我认为应该精确理解成”老百姓多难，共产党兴旺”。
The “Sanlu poisonous milk scandal” attracted more and more attention until the Central Propaganda Department gave strict orders on 9/15 to stop all Chinese media to report and investigate this scandal. Xinhua News, which is a mouthpiece of China government, shifted from a critical tone of voice to more positive reports and eulogy for the government departments' effectiveness in dealing with this scandal…This is a tragedy for hundred of thousands families. However, the sad story is being transformed into a happy story–what we hear now are honorable stories about those leaders and people working in the government…There is a proverb “after disasters a country will be stronger.” I think this proverb should be understood as “when the citizens are suffered from disasters, the Communist Party of China becomes stronger and stronger.”
Lianyue worried that the situation will become worse and worse if China government keeps tolerating these corrupted corporations.
In addition to the Sanlu Group, the Yili Group is reported to have melamine in their products in Hong Kong. However, there is no comment from China government or Chinese companies yet…Food and pharmaceutical products made in China have very bad reputation. However, all the bad news are dealt by spreading eulogy of the government and blocking reports harmful to the government. These corporations do not care about public safety any more when the government tolerates their wrong doings again and again…After Sanlu's scandal spread out, the government focuses on shutting the media and citizens up and prevent us from monitoring the government and corporate sectors, which only helps escalate the system crisis. If the system survives today, it will soon face bigger and bigger crisis until the whole system falls down.
On Sept 16, China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) found out that among 491 batches of products produced by 109 companies they have checked, 69 batches of milk powder products produced by 22 companies were contaminated by melamine in varying degrees (you can find the names of these companies at the end of this article). Two among these 22 companies are very well-known in China: the Yili and Mengniu Groups.
Chinaretail News reported:
Contaminated products found in the tests include baby milk powder products produced by Shijiazhuang Sanlu Group, Shanghai Panda Dairy, Qingdao Shengyuan Dairy, Shanxi Gu Cheng Dairy, Jiangxi Guangming Yingxiong Dairy, Baoji Huimin Dairy, Inner Mongolia Mengniu Dairy, Torador Dairy Industry (Tianjin), Guangdong Yashili Group, Hunan Peiyi Dairy, Heilongjiang Qilin Dairy, Shanxi Yashili Dairy, Shenzhen Jinbishi Milk, Scient (Guangzhou) Infant Nutrition, Guangzhou Jinding Dairy Products Factory, Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group, Yantai Ausmeadow Nutriment, Qingdao Suncare Nutritional Technology, Xi'an Baiyue Dairy, Yantai Leilei Dairy, Shanghai Baoanli Dairy, and Fuding Chenguan Dairy.
Looks like the Chinese government really need to pull their act together soon.