Chinese companies apologize for toxic baby food formula

October 13th, 2008 - 3:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Oct 13 (RIA Novosti) China’s three leading dairy companies have apologized for their involvement in the melamine-tainted milk crisis, the China Daily newspaper has reported. According to official statistics, over 50,000 people, an overwhelming majority of them children, have been affected by toxic milk products in China since the first cases of melamine poisoning were reported in early September.

Four children have died as a result of tainted milk powder, and over 10,000 children are currently being treated in hospital, mainly for kidney stones and urinary complications.

Melamine is an industrial chemical used in plastic products, dyes and fertilisers and is toxic for humans.

Executives from Mengniu, Bright Dairy and Yili admitted during the Dialogue talk show on Sunday to “problems and mistakes” made by their respective companies.

The tainted milk scandal has led to inspections of dairy producers across the country. As a result, melamine was discovered in 69 different brands, produced by 22 companies nationwide, including the popular brands Sanlu, Mengniu, Yili and Yashili.

“All the companies should guarantee quality and safety, and build market confidence from scratch,” Mengniu’s marketing chief, Zhao Yuanhua, said.

The Chinese government has reinforced measures to ensure the safety of dairy products. Latest tests have shown that samples of 855 batches from 77 brands of dairy products produced after Sep 14 did not contain melamine.

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