China’s “Tainted Milk” Comes Back Again

Photo from BBC. All rights reserved.

The food safety problem in China seems never come to an end, especially the “tainted milk”. According to the BBC News, three children have been killed and thirty-five others, mostly children, are being treated at hospitals in north-west China’s Gansu Province from suspected poisoning after drinking milk from two local dairies.

Investigation shows that victims were poisoned by nitrite, a chemical used in the curing of meat, BBC reports. The two local dairies farms have been sealed off and under investigation.

This is the latest food scandal in China’s dairy industry.

Last year, there had been claims that milk powder produced by a Chinese company may be responsible for several cases of premature development of breasts in babies, but was later confirmed by China’s health ministry that they found no connection between milk powder and premature puberty in infants.

Another scandal, and probably the most known one, was the Sanlu Milk Scandal, which happened in 2008 when the chemical compound melamine was found in their milk products and caused stone formation in the urinary tract. Hundreds of thousands of children were poisoned and six died.

Examples of China’s food scandal can not only be found in the dairy industry. Last month, it was reported that pork from a subsidiary of China’s largest meat processor, Shuanghui Group in Henan Province, has been found to contain traces of illegal additive Clenbuterol, “a chemical that can be fed to pigs to prevent them from accumulating fat”.

Earlier this year, it was reported that as much as 10 percent of China’s rice may be tainted by poisonous cadmium, a heavy metal discharged in mine and industrial sewage that makes its way into rice paddies”, according to Caixin Online, “much of which is consumed by farm families or sold in areas of the nation’s food market beyond the reach of government safety regulators”.

About Ka Li

Ka Li is currently a master's student doing Global Communication at USC Annenberg School. She got her Bachelor's degree in English at Beijing Institute of Technology, and the first master's degree in Global Media and Communications at London School of Economics and Political Science.
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