Melamine in Milk


Speaking of milk pus, if you happened to be in China for the 2008 Olympics and treated yourself to a nice healthy glass of milk to edify your bones, there is a chance that it had unusually high levels of melamine.  If you happened to treat your baby to some infant formula, there is even more of a chance.  Already 300,000 people in China have been ill as a result of dairy products being tainted with this industrial chemical found in plastics and fertilizers, and 6 infants have died.

Tian Wenhu, as well as three other top-ranking executives in Sanlu, pleaded guilty to producing and selling dairy products that did not meet State regulations when it came to quantities of melamine, which, per European standards, cannot exceed 20 milligrams per kilogram of food stuffs.  In September 2008, some Sanlu products were found to have over 2,000 milligrams per kilogram.  Got Milk?

You may be wondering:  Why melamine, does it sufficiently improve the taste of this glandular white liquid to finally do the impossible and make it palatable?  Not exactly.  But if you add it to watered-down milk it does falsely raise the protein count to bring it up to code.  On the downside, it also causes kidney stones, kidney failure, and a red sediment to appear in children’s urine.

Tian Wenhu wore a yellow vest before a panel of three judges when she pleaded guilty in December 2008.  So did the other executives present at the hearing.  They may just get a lifetime in prison, or, if the ruling follows in the footpath of the most recent head of China’s State FDA after being found guilty of corruption, the death sentence.

January 15, 2009 3:01 am

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