Second baby dies from tainted Chinese formula
Chinese authorities announced yesterday that toxic baby formula has caused two deaths and more than 1200 known illnesses. 340 infants have been hospitalized, 53 in serious condition. The formula was apparently purposely contaminated with melamine (the same toxic chemical involved in pet food poisonings last year) in order to cause it to appear to have a higher protein content.
Although parents had been complaining to the Chinese distributor, Sanlu, since March, Sanlu did not order a recall until September. Four years ago, 13 Chinese babies died of malnutrition when they were fed a fraudulent formula that lacked any nutritional value. A New Zealand corporate minority partner in Sanlu claims that Chinese government regulators refused to help order a recall when the New Zealand part-owner learned of the problem in August. The Chinese state media reported the problem last Wednesday, and Sanlu ordered a recall on Thursday, saying "Sanlu Group expresses its most sincere apology to you." I guess that sets everything right. Thankfully for us, anyway, this formula enjoyed limited access to the American market.