Who Said "Cheaters Never Prosper"?
The latest in a long string of counterfeit and tainted products coming from the People's Republic is the poisoned milk. It's not just in the baby formula, but has spread to yogurt and ice-cream.
The discovery in Hong Kong of the industrial chemical in a second company's products boosts concerns that contamination may be widespread after the Ministry of Health said melamine-tainted milk made by Sanlu Group Co. sickened children. Milk powder produced by 22 Chinese dairy producers, including Sanlu and Yili, were found to have melamine, China Central Television reported late today.
Melamine is the major ingredient in those 50s icons -- Melmac dinnerware. But you wouldn't choose to eat it or give it to your pets. It turns out that the petfood that killed and sickened all those N. American pets last year may have had a second toxic chemical added -- cyanuric acid.
Three chemical makers said Chinese animal feed producers often came to purchase cyanuric acid to blend into their feed because it was cheaper and helped increase protein content. In the United States, cyanuric acid is often used as a chemical stabilizer in swimming pools, though it is not thought to be highly toxic on its own.
The kidneys fail first. Then the central nervous system begins to misfire. Paralysis spreads, making breathing difficult, then often impossible without assistance. In the end, most victims die.
The syrupy poison, diethylene glycol, is an indispensable part of the modern world, an industrial solvent and prime ingredient in some antifreeze.
It is also a killer. And the deaths, if not intentional, are often no accident.
Over the years, the poison has been loaded into all varieties of medicine — cough syrup, fever medication, injectable drugs — a result of counterfeiters who profit by substituting the sweet-tasting solvent for a safe, more expensive syrup, usually glycerin, commonly used in drugs, food, toothpaste and other products.
Toxic syrup has figured in at least eight mass poisonings around the world in the past two decades. Researchers estimate that thousands have died. In many cases, the precise origin of the poison has never been determined. But records and interviews show that in three of the last four cases it was made in China, a major source of counterfeit drugs.
ScienceDaily (Feb. 13, 2008) — A unique collaboration between scientists, public health workers and police has led to the arrest by the Chinese authorities of alleged traders of fake anti-malarial drugs in southern China and the seizure of a large quantity of drugs. The work, involving teams from across the globe, has highlighted both the growing threat posed by fake pharmaceuticals and the complexities of tracking down those responsible for the trade.
Fortunes have been made by manufacturers of these products with the full knowledge that people will be maimed and killed. Until the Chinese government takes control of these criminals and stops the production of these poisons, we should cease to accept Chinese manufactured food and pharmaceuticals.