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September 17th, 2008
11:25 AM ET

China: Third baby dies from tainted formula

The scope of China's contaminated baby formula case grew Wednesday as officials reported the death of a third infant and a spike in those made ill by it.

At the same time, China's largest producer of milk, Mengniu Dairy Group, announced the recall of three batches of formula made in January. Testing showed they were contaminated.

More than 6,200 babies have been sickened by the tainted milk powder, said Li Changjiang, China's director of quarantine and inspection, up from about 1,200 on Tuesday.

More than 1,300 infants are hospitalized. The illnesses include malnutrition, kidney stones and acute renal failure.

Originally Chinese officials said all of the tainted formula had remained in China, other than a small amount that was exported to Taiwan. But Li said Wednesday that the powder has also been shipped to five other nations, including Bangladesh, Myanmar, Yemen, Chad and Burundi.

Recalls of the products by the Yashili and Suokang companies have been made, according to Li.

Of China's 175 baby milk powder production companies, 66 have already stopped production, Li said. Investigators are testing samples at the rest.

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Filed under: Global 360°
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Robin Xu

    First of all, why are almost all of the comments here are hate comments? Yes China is expanding, and yes, some things are going to go wrong but why do we all have to just scream at all of the Chinese people calling them greedy idiots who don't care about anything but money?

    September 17, 2008 at 7:56 pm |
  2. Clarence, Albuquerque

    Is this an opening for more government regulators? Is that good? Is that bad?

    September 17, 2008 at 6:48 pm |
  3. Melissa, Los Angeles

    @ D society = the body of human beings generally, associated or viewed as members of a community: the evolution of human society – in other words we're all in this together as the human race regardless that we live on different continents. Greed crosses all borders and yes I did include people who took the money in my post. We're all affected by each others actions in this global world hence the saving of AIG by the government since other countries besides the U.S. are at stake if it was allowed to fail.

    September 17, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  4. Maria

    Western culture is invading and changing China, except government, so no wonder if Chinese mom switch from breast feeding to formula.

    September 17, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  5. Sharon from Indy

    Why isn't China's "one baby" society emphasizing breast milk? After this fiasco, maybe new Chinese mothers may consider it.

    September 17, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  6. Heather

    It would be nice if China put the same time,money and investment that they did into the Olympic village into creating a infastructure, laws,regulations and standards like we do so they wouldnt have to go through this again and again. Just because we have a unbalanced trade policy doesnt mean as a citizen of this country I am obligated to buy any products that are made in China. After what happen with cat and dog food and toys I said forget it. Im not going to be sorry if China is insulted by me valuing my health and my pets health. They have only themselves to blame. These defenseless babies didn't ask for this. Plus with Chinas one child policy I feel terrible for the parents. I hope the gov lets them try again.

    September 17, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  7. D

    "Have we become a narcissistic society?"

    Ummm. China and the US are, in fact, different societies. And don't forget the people who took the money eventhough they couldn't pay it back.

    September 17, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  8. Melissa, Los Angeles

    Greed knows no bounds. From the lenders who loaned money to people who couldn't pay it back and forging their paperwork so that the loan would go through just so the lender could make a commission all the way to these two men watering down milk and adding a chemical used as a laminate just to make a buck. What happened to the shame? Have we become a narcissistic society?

    September 17, 2008 at 1:31 pm |
  9. Annie Kate

    I hope they get all the formula recalled and no more babies get sick and the ones that are sick recover. After the melanmine in the dog and cat food last year and it killing pets, you would think the men who diluted the milk and added the melanmine to it would know that it was lethal – I cannot believe they put so many babies at risk just because they were trying to make up a financial loss. I don't know what safeguards China has to inspect food products and such like we do here but I certainly hope that China will quickly see the need for an organization dedicated to maintaining high and safe standards in the food products China produces. To have the same sort of poisoning happen twice in 2 years is twice too many.;

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    September 17, 2008 at 12:26 pm |
  10. Saad, NJ

    This is a very unfortunate and sad situation but is something that was destined to happen. China's production sector has grown so exponentially and become so large that it is hard, if not impossible for Federal Government to apply true quality & assurance standards on to the production facilities. And if there are no Q&A standards, either non-existent or not vigorously and aggressively applied, the production units will falter. Whether on purpose and with malicious intent or simply a neglect, but they will falter.

    So what's the point of the above – for all of us living in the U.S. or anywhere in the world other than China, do NOT buy anything that is made in China that goes inside our or our childrens bodies. It's ok to buy clothes that are made in China or carpets or tools or containers or anything under the sun but NOT anything that goes inside our bodies.

    I feel bad for the parents of those children but that is the price they have to pay for being part of a nation that is dodging all the rules of ethics to take over the world. And their population is so huge that a few killed is no big deal. I don't wish death upon anyone but if someone had to die, I wish it were adults or more specifically the management people of the formula companies than the poor children.

    September 17, 2008 at 12:15 pm |
  11. Cindy

    Well, seeing how China doesn't really care how people are treated or what tainted products they send over seas to us or other countries, I'm not shocked at all that they seem to be slow at finding the cause of this tainted baby formula.

    Cindy...Ga.

    September 17, 2008 at 11:47 am |