China’s contaminated baby food toll rises to four (Lead)

September 18th, 2008 - 4:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Sep 18 (Xinhua) The toll in China’s contaminated baby food scandal has risen to four with the death of a baby in northwestern province of Xinjiang, provincial authorities said Thursday. The death occurred at a hospital in the Mongolian city of Bayingolin, the health department said on its website, but gave no details.

In addition, 86 babies in the region had fallen ill after drinking the milk powder contaminated by industrial chemical melamine, believed to increase protein content, the department said.

Nationwide, more than 6,000 babies have taken ill after being fed with the contaminated baby food.

About 10 tonnes of the formulation produced by dairy product giant Sanlu had been pulled off shelves in the region, it said.

Two babies had died in Gansu province in the northwest and one in Zhejiang province in the east.

The dairy giant Sanlu based in the Hebei provincial capital Shijiazhuang in north China was the first company exposed in the tainted milk powder scandal.

Sanlu chief Tian Wenhua has been detained by police for questioning.

On Wednesday the mayor of Shijiazhuang Ji Chuntang resigned in the fallout of the scandal.

Earlier Tuesday, four officials in the city were fired. They included Zhang Fawang, vice mayor in charge of agricultural production, Sun Renhu, the Shijiazhuang Municipal Animal Husbandry and Fishery Bureau director, Zhang Yi, Shijiazhuang Municipal Food and Drug Administration director and Li Zhiguo, Shijiazhuang Municipal Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision director.

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