Fri, September 12, 2008
China > Mainland

78 questioned in powder milk contamination

2008-09-12 10:24:41 GMT2008-09-12 18:24:41 (Beijing Time) Xinhua English

Two babies with kidney stones receive medical treatment at a military hospital in Lanzhou, capital of northwest China's Gansu Province, Sept. 11, 2008. (Xinhua Photo)

BEIJING, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- Chinese police questioned 78 people suspected of being involved in a baby milk powder contamination scandal, said Shijiazhuang Vice Mayor Zhao Xinchao on Friday.

The city is where the formula was being manufactured by Sanlu Group.

Zhao would not say who the 78 people are but Sanlu told Xinhua those being questioned include dairy farmers and milk dealers.

The company would not tell Xinhua if its own employees are being investigated.

Sanlu, one of China's leading dairy producers, discovered it's powdered milk products were contaminated with melamine after dozens of babies became sick with kidney stones.

According to Zhao, the suspects added water to the milk they sold to Sanlu to make more money. They also added melamine so that the diluted milk could still meet standards.

Exposure to melamine can lead to stone formation in the urinary tract of the human body. One baby in the Gansu province died as result kidney stones.

Zhao vowed to spare no efforts to save the sick babies.

Sanlu has sealed off 2,176 tons of contaminated milk powder and recalled 8,210 tons from the market. There are still 700 tons to be recalled. All the contaminated formula was produced before Aug.6 of this year.

LANZHOU, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) -- One baby has died of kidney stones in northwest China's Gansu Province, said health officials Thursday.

It is not clear if this infant drank milk formula being investigated for causing at least 14 babies to develop kidney stones.

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