UPDATED UPDATE: Two men have been served a death sentence for their involvement in China’s melamine contaminated milk scandal. The former boss of the Sanlu dairy at the centre of the scandal was given life imprisonment. 19 other sentences handed down by the court in northern China, where Sanlu is based, are of lower severity.
More than 200 families whose babies were hospitalised after drinking infant milk formula tainted with the industrial chemical melamine are taking their case to China’s highest court after being repeatedly ignored by lower courts, according to an AP report.
An earlier report revealed that the parents of an infant who died after drinking melamine milk have been paid 200,000 yuan (about $30,000) in compensation by the dairy company at the heart of the scandal, New Zealand owned Sanlu.
A report from Reuters says that the contaminated milk powder killed at least six children and sickened almost 300,000 last year. Many parents whose children were affected are hoping those responsible for the contamination will face the death penalty.
Now that the scandal is not so prominent in the media, investors are moving back in on China, Farming UK reports that Henry George Roberts company KKR & Co intend to invest US$100 million into the dairy industry in China. “Investing in China’s largest producer and distributor of fresh milk, the American company are gambling on the recent melamine scandal being behind them,” the magazine says. “The recent scandal in China over the use of melamine in milk, to raise the protein levels, has seen the values in the industry plummet.”
Reuters and others report that China now plans to impose production controls on melamine so that the melamine in milk scandal may never happen again. At the height of the debacle hundreds of products, not just infant formula, on supermarket shelves across the globe were tainted with the “Made in China” label. Thousands of visitors to the Sciencebase site over the last few months have arrived to get more information as the story unfolded. I will report on any subsequent developments as soon as they happen.