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Food adulteration becoming common in China
Earlier it was protein export contamination of many brands of cat and dog food from China, now 6,000 Chinese babies are reported to be hospitalised with kidney problems caused by contaminated milk powder. The adulteration goes on without any curb
IN MARCH 2007, because of protein export contamination many brands of cat and dog food from China were recalled, and this recall of brands were extended eventually to the human food supply. The recalls of these supplies in North America, Europe and South Africa came because of reports of kidney failure in pets. A month after the initial recall, contaminated rice protein from China was also identified to be associated with kidney failure in pets in the United States, while contaminated corn gluten was responsible for kidney failure in pets in South Africa.

Despite all these, the Chinese government put deaf ear and responded slowly to the allegation. Both government officials and manufacturers were denying that vegetable protein was even exported from China and also refused initially to allow foreign food safety investigators to enter China. Later on, the Chinese government acknowledged that contamination had occurred and arrested the managers of two protein manufacturers and took measures to improve food safety and product quality.

Adding to this saga, about 6,000 Chinese babies are reported to be hospitalised with kidney problems caused by contaminated milk powder. However, the health ministry said on October 15, 2008, that 5,800 children were still hospitalised – six of them in serious condition.

Authorities are blaming dairy suppliers for the food safety scandal that began last month, saying they added melamine, an organic compound, to watered-down milk to fool quality-control tests and make the product appear rich in protein. The symptom caused because of the toxicity of melamine is renal failure, which could be explained by the ammonia that may result from the digestion of the melamine.

Moreover, it is not only milk and milk products that are tainted, but the issue is much wider, which is a point of greater concern.

Although the Chinese health ministry has ordered the manufacturers of biscuits to withdraw the tainted brands from the market immediately, the step cannot be regarded as enough to put curb on the people who are playing with human health and their existence, particularly babies. The scandal has devastated public trust in Chinese dairies, in China and internationally.

The Chinese government is known to act speedily and violently when it comes to puting curb on pro-democratic movement. It’s more than a year’s period since the protein export contamination came into light, but no concrete measure has been put in place by the Chinese government and the bureucracy in order to punish the people who are involved in adulteration for more financial gain and save innocent humans and animals from falling prey to these adulterators.

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Ramesh Manghirmalani
Nothing new about third world China. Toxic Food.The 2008 Chinese milk scandal is a food safety incident in mainland People's Republic of China involving milk and infant formula, and possibly other food materials and components, which had been adulterated with melamine. With China's wide range of export food products, the scandal has affected countries on all continents. By the end of September, an estimated 94,000 victims have been claimed;[1] four infants have died from kidney stones and other kidney damage.[2][3] The chemical appeared to have been added to milk in order to cause it to appear to have a higher protein content. The same chemical was also involved in a series of pet food recalls in 2007. In a separate incident, watered-down milk resulted in 13 infant deaths from malnutrition in China in 2004.[4] The scandal broke on 16 July, after sixteen infants in Gansu Province who had been fed on milk powder produced by Shijiazhuang-based Sanlu Group were diagnosed with kidney stones.[cm 1] After the initial focus on Sanlu, the market leader in the budget segment, government inspections revealed the problem existed to a lesser degree in products from 21 other companies, including Mengniu, Yili, and Yashili.[5] The issue has raised concerns about food safety and political corruption in China, and it has also damaged the reputation of China's food exports; at least 11 countries having stopped all imports of Chinese dairy products. A number of arrests occurred as a result of the scandal; the head of Sanlu, seven local government officials, as well as the Director of the Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) have been fired or forced to resign in response to the incident.[6] The World Health Organisation referred to the incident as one of the largest food safety events it has had to deal with in recent years. It says the crisis of confidence among Chinese consumers would be hard to overcome. A spokesman said that the scale of the problem proved that it was "clearly not an isolated accident, [but] a large-scale intentional activity to deceive consumers for simple, basic, short-term profits.
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