19 September 2008

Melamine, The Muderer of Chinese Baby

Several days ago, a child was died of kidney disease. After investigate by quality check department, they found there was Melamine added in the milk power.so baby was killed by the milk in which added Melamine. Melamine is an organic compound that is often combined with formaldehyde to produce melamine resin, a synthetic polymer which is fire resistant and heat tolerant. Melamine is a chemical material, which is clearly prohibited as an additive in processing food. The chemical could make the milk appear rich in protein. Putting melamine in Sanlu milk powder is an illegal act.

As China's baby-formula scandal widens, the country's multibillion-dollar dairy industry is reeling. Consumers, wary of domestically produced milk, are flocking to buy foreign formula and other products, and shares of the country's largest dairy companies are plunging.

So far, 22 companies -- including Olympics sponsor Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group Co. and Mengniu Dairy Co., which supplies milk to Starbucks Corp. in China -- have been linked to melamine contamination in baby formula. More than 6,200 babies have fallen ill, many with kidney problems that could lead to permanent damage. On Thursday, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported a fourth death connected to the problem.

Farmers say they haven't heard anything about what might happen to their cows or their milk, which many are throwing away because of slumping demand.

The contamination extends beyond formula to liquid milk, authorities have found. Melamine is an industrial compound used in nonfood products. Its addition to milk can make milk appear to contain more protein to help pass quality testing.

Melamine was found in eight of the 30 Yili products sold in Hong Kong. The government has said it will continue its investigations and provide free medical care to victims.

The dairy industry is a competitive and low-margin business. Farmers sell milk to local dealers who in turn sell it to companies like Sanlu. Authorities say it was the dealers who added melamine to the milk.

The affected companies are scrambling. On Thursday, Yili said in a statement that it has set up a hotline for parents, and that it plans to donate several hundred million yuan annually over five to 10 years to help modernize the industry and develop systems to ensure product quality.