Up to 10million infants in China may have future
complications as a result of drinking contaminated milk powder.
So far, just under 53,000 infants are
reported to have been affected, 12,892 hospitalized, 104 critically ill, and
four dead. According to Chinese official reports, a total of 39,965 have
recovered after seeking medical treatment.
Since then, Director of China’s General Administration of
Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (GAQSIQ), Li Changjiang, who also
served as an assistant director of the investigation team on the Sanlu baby
formula, officially resigned on September 22.
12 Million Infants Take Low-Price Baby Formula
Currently, China’s annual infant birth rate is close to
20 million . Of them, at least half are bottle-fed and brought up on
baby milk powder formula—according to a Voice of America radio report .
Out of China’s population of 1.3 billion
people, 800 millions (61.5 percent) are peasants or farmers who usually buy
low-price milk products. If that is correct, 12 million babies in rural
China consume low-price baby formulas, and therefore are potential victims of
tainted baby formula.
Majority of Domestic Baby Formula Contaminated
According to a report published by the GAQSIQ on
September 16, melamine was found in baby formulas produced by 22 dairy
companies, the majority producing baby-formulas for the domestic market.
Currently, there are 154 dairy companies in China; most of them that produce
baby formula have been blacklisted.
According to a report by state-owned press, Xinhua Net, China’s Ministry of Health held a
confidential national video conference on September 19 . The meeting revealed
that dairy companies had been adding melamine to adjust the texture, thickness,
and flavor of milk powder. However, they have managed to control the correct
ratio of melamine and have not treated the toxic chemical as being a concern.
This scenario is very similar to previous
food safety scandals involving detergents being added to the Chinese popular
food, deep-fried dough sticks, and formaldehyde being added to pork skins.
Though they would not cause immediate death, there is an undetectable, chronic
At least Six Millions Victims
According to a report by Ming Pao Daily News, there are
imported and domestic baby formulas in China’s dairy market . Domestic baby
formulas accounts for 54 percent of low-price baby-formula market and both the
imported and domestic baby formula have equal market shares in the middle and
high end bracket.
So, of 12 million
babies born in rural China who consume baby formula, 54 percent of them, or 6.48
million, would purchase the lower priced domestic powder milk.
One Chinese doctor posted a comment on the
Internet on September 21, “In Hebei Province, 3.6 percent of tested children had
developed kidney stones, whereas Guangdong Province has about 2.2 percent. Of
the 30 million children in our country, five to 10 million will develop kidney
stones. Some have not shown any symptoms. Those with kidney damage and blood in
urine have not been officially included in the report yet. Is this not a
national disaster or what?”
High-Ranking Official Commit Suicide
Li Changjiang, who recently resigned,
initially blamed the Sanlu Group for concealing information, and has emphasized
many times, “Like in other countries, the GAQSIQ has never conducted any test on
detecting toxic chemicals like melamine in food products since these toxic
chemicals are not allowed to be added to food products,” implying that the
GAQSIQ should not be held responsible for the milk scandal.
Noticeably, on the day when the Sanlu Group
reported to Chinese government that toxic melamine had been found in their baby
formula, a senior official of the GAQSIQ, Wu Jianping, committed suicide by
jumping out of a building.
shown that melamine can lead to infertility and bladder cancer.
The impact 20 years later when those who
have survived kidney stones get married and realize that they cannot have babies
at all would be devastating for Chinese parents who are only allowed to have a
 China Pregnant and Baby Education Net
 voanews.com, article link
 Ming Pao Daily News
Original Chinese article can be read