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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

China searches for 100 tonnes of melamine-tainted milk


What happened: China has seized 72 tonnes of milk powder believed to be tainted with melamine and is searching for another 100 tonnes, state media has reported.

The problem: The powder is thought to be from a batch recalled after it killed six children in 2008 and made 300,000 ill.

Two years? And they still don't have it all? Is it packed in camo? Too bad the milk powder doesn't utter the occasional remark about civil liberty. It'd be tracked down and killed overnight.

More details:


10 Sept 2008: Fourteen babies reported ill in Gansu province

15 Sept: Beijing confirms first deaths from the contamination

22 Sept: Number of ill babies soars to tens of thousands

23 Sept: Other countries start to recall Chinese dairy products

31 Oct: Melamine routinely added to animal feed, say China media

23 Dec: Main dairy firm involved, Sanlu, goes bankrupt

31 Dec: Four senior Sanlu executives go on trial

2 Jan 2009: Firms say sorry in mass New Year text message

22 Jan: Two men sentenced to death and 19 jailed in Hebei

March: Higher courts reject appeals

24 Nov: Zhang Yujun and Geng Jinping executed

BTW, the quality of milk powder is assessed by the protein content. However, the protein content is assessed indirectly by measuring the nitrogen content. Enter melamine, which increases the nitrogen content , but which is also difficult to detect directly. Ingestion of melamine leads to kidney stones and kidney failure.

Melamine is used in the manufacture of plastics and fertilizer.

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