Officially, China's government has reported an additional 31 batches of Chinese milk powder were found contaminated with the industrial chemical melamine, which is a hard plastic material.
Melamine is used to make fertilizers and plastics and experts say some amount of the chemical may be transferred from the environment during food processing. However, in China's case, suppliers trying to increase output are believed to have diluted their milk, adding melamine because its nitrogen content can fool tests aimed at verifying protein content.
Melamine can cause kidney stones, leading to kidney failure. Young children are particularly vulnerable. The tainting scandal, which is affecting products ranging from baby formula to chocolate, has been considered for the deaths of four children and kidney ailments among 54,000 others. No less than 13,000 children have been hospitalized and 27 people arrested in connection with the contamination.
The new figure, seen on the food safety administration's Web site Wednesday, brings to at least 100 the number of examined batches of milk powder found to contain melamine. A previous round of examining, results of which were reported on Sept. 16, found melamine in 69 milk powder batches. Dozens of brands sold by great number of dairy firms, including some of China's well-known brands, have been among those tested. In addition, tests have also discovered melamine in 24 batches of liquid milk produced by three of the country's well known dairy firms.
In the short time ago tests, nine of the batches containing melamine, which is high in nitrogen, were produced by the company at the center of the scandal, Sanlu, a 43% stake of which belongs to New Zealand dairy cooperative Fonterra. However, no date for the examining was given.
Recently, the State Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine had tested 265 batches produced by 154 different companies prior to Sept. 14. Officially, according to the administration, China has a total of 290 companies making powdered milk. In addition, Chinese health officials have said no affect comes from consuming less than 0.63 milligrams per kilogram. However, the levels of melamine discovered in batches examined varied widely, from as much as 6,196 milligrams per kilogram to as little 1.3 milligrams per kilogram.
The action of hiding mistakes by companies that involved in the scandal has worsened the situation. Recently, top Sanlu executives and government officials in the northern city of Shijiazhuang, where the company is based, have been forced to resign.
Thank you for visiting SurayBlog