By Gina Spadafori
September 14, 2008
From the International Herald Tribune:
China said over the weekend that 19 people had been detained by the police as part of an investigation into how baby formula had become contaminated with an industrial chemical. The formula is implicated in the death of one infant, and at least 432 others have been afflicted with kidneyÂ problems.
The government also said Saturday that the Sanlu Group, China’s biggest producer of milk powder formula, had first received complaints about its powder in March and had recalled some products but delayed reporting the problems to the government or theÂ public.
On Sunday, Reuters reported that the New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra said it had known since August that the Chinese firm in which it holds a 43 percent stake was selling contaminated milk but that it had sought aÂ recall.
The government said a preliminary investigation had determined that the infant formula had been contaminated by melamine, an industrial chemical that is used in some plastics. The government said it thought the melamine had been intentionally added to the powder to make it seem to have moreÂ protein.
Last year, the same chemical was found in animal feed from China that was then sold to pet food makers in the United States, sickening hundreds of cats and dogs. This touched off an international trade dispute and questions about the safety of products fromÂ China.
In interviews with melamine producers and sellers last year, several acknowledged that melamine was commonly used to artificially raise the protein count in a variety of foods, fish feeds and even dairyÂ products.
Well … at least we’re up to admitting to “hundreds” of sickened cats and dogs. In the meantime, what else is this crap in?