WHO accuses China of covering up milk scandalSeptember 27th, 2008 - 2:42 pm ICT by IANS
London, Sep 27 (IANS) The World Health Organisation (WHO) has accused China of covering up the country’s worst milk scandal that claimed lives of four children and made over 53,000 babies nationwide ill, the Daily Telegraph reported Saturday.”This incident was aggravated by delays in reporting at a number of sources,” said a spokesman for the WHO in Beijing. “These delays were probably a combination of ignorance and deliberate failure to report.”
According to state media reports, Chinese dairy firm Sanlu, the company at the heart of the crisis, knew about the contamination in June. But it did not notify the regional government in Shijiazhuang, its home town, until Aug 2.
The Chinese government also delayed in making the issue public until the second week of this month, which prompted the WHO to criticise the country.
Jorgen Schlundt, the head of the WHO’s department of food safety, said Sanlu had sold “milk powder with more than 100 times the concentration of melamine that an 11 pound baby can tolerate”.
The WHO rebuke comes as new figures emerged from Shanghai that said five percent of babies in the province have been taken ill in the tainted milk scandal. As many as 10,000 children aged under three have developed kidney stones after consuming the milk laced with melamine, an industrial chemical more commonly found in plastic, the newspaper said.
Dairy products, chocolates, sweets and biscuits have all been found to contain traces of melamine, which is generally used with watered-down milk to “bulk” it up and make it appear richer in protein. However, it triggers the formation of kidney stones when consumed.
Sanlu, which is 43 percent-owned by New Zealand’s Fonterra Group, has recalled more than 10,000 tonnes of contaminated baby milk from market.
The company is reportedly an official sponsor of China’s first spacewalk mission.
However, the taikonauts, who are preparing to carry out the space walk, have reportedly not been fed melamine-tainted products, the newspaper said.
Meanwhile, the European Union (EU) has decreed that all Chinese dairy products and sweets must be tested. China’s most popular sweet, White Rabbit, has been withdrawn from stores. In Britain, supermarket chain Tesco has cleared its shelves of White Rabbit following the scandal.
- China arrests 96 people for using tainted milk powder - Jan 14, 2011
- 96 arrested in China for selling adulterated milk powder - Jan 13, 2011
- Six arrested in fresh melamine milk scandal in China - Aug 21, 2010
- Chinese police arrests six suspects, 41 others in melamine milk scandal - Aug 21, 2010
- China jails 14 people in tainted milk case - Apr 30, 2011
- Melamine tainted milk resurfaces in China - Jul 09, 2010
- Police seize 64 tons of melamine tainted milk from northwest China plant - Jul 09, 2010
- China bans more milk products tainted with melamine - Jan 25, 2010
- Melamine-tainted dairy product reappears in China - Nov 24, 2010
- Chinese Milk Found Tainted With Melamine - Jul 12, 2010
- Chemical used in plastics found in Taiwan-made food - Jun 02, 2011
- 70 percent Chinese preferred imported milk powder due to safety concerns - Mar 01, 2011
- Cancer-causing chemical found in baby milk in China - Jul 23, 2012
- China recalls over 170 tons of contaminated milk powder in latest crackdown - Feb 08, 2010
- Milk products found tainted with melamine in China - Jul 12, 2010