John Vause | BIO
CNN Beijing Correspondent
It just won’t go away.
The latest figures from China’s health ministry show that even now, more than two months after the melamine in the baby milk scandal broke, almost a thousand Chinese kids are still in hospital, and according to China’s health Ministry, almost 300 thousand were made ill and a total of six kids were killed.
It is not too much of a stretch to suggest that even these numbers, do not reflect the full extent of how many babies and infants were left sick and dying. Consider this: China is the same size geographically as the US, give or take, with four times the population, and once you leave the big cities and head west, you step back in time and about two worlds. Many in the small isolated rural areas probably had no idea their kids were drinking poison, no idea why their only precious child was screaming in pain from kidney stones. This scandal has been going on for years.
I recently spoke with Marion Nestle, a very smart woman who last year warned that if the industrial chemical melamine was being used to fake high protein readings for pet food, that it wouldn’t be long before it was in the animal feed. She was so smart she wrote a book, called “Pet Food Politics: The Chihuahua in the Coal Mine”. She explained to me that the melamine forms crystals, and that’s where the problems begin.
“So this crystal forms they can get quite large they block the kidneys. And that’s what happened . . . to the dogs and cats in 2007 and that’s what happened to the infants in China now, was their kidney tubules were blocked and their urine was trapped . .they died of kidney failure.”
In case you missed the point she added:
“It is not nice”.
And Marion warns the next place to look for melamine is Soy products. Melamine, it’s no longer just for breakfast.
Recently, in what could best be described was a international case of scheudenfraude, a few newspapers in China published banner headlines announcing melamine found in US baby formula. US officials said the levels were just a fraction of the killer toxic levels here in China, but that was mostly glossed over. As far as many in China are concerned we’re all in the same boat – and it’s made of melamine.
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