BEIJING, China (CNN) -- The number of children sickened by suspected melamine-tainted milk products in China has more than doubled and apparently spread beyond mainland China -- raising fears that the impact of the tainted products could be more widespread that initially thought.Melamine, which produces multiple kidney stones in infants and which was previously implicated in the mass poisoning of pet food from China, was added to the milk in an effort to skew the analyzed protien content -- the same causal relationship to the tainted pet products in 2006-2007 that resulted in so many animal deaths -- again through acute failure of the kidneys.
Again, this is the same contamination that occured with pet food last year. If the Chinese government knew about the history of their manufacturers adding melamine to game the protein analysis count -- with such public and disastrous consequences, how could they have allowed their manufacturers to then try the same trick with the most vulnerable human population -- the powered milk used in infant formulas?
In September 2008 Sanlu Milk recalled all powdered milk in the north-west China's Gansu province where melamine was reported to have been used in 22 brands of infant formula, making more than 12,800 infants ill. Melamine has also been found in products produced by Yili Industrial Group Co, and Mengniu Dairy Co. As of 18 September 2008 there had been four confirmed infant deaths from the contamination of powdered milk with melamine with a number of survivors diagnosed with acute kidney failure.
Melamine may have been added to fool government quality tests after water was added to fraudulently increase the milk's volume. The adulterant melamine was added to the milk to allow the company to dilute the milk with water and circumvent government regulations, since melamine will cause a false increase in the measurement of protein by increasing the nitrogen levels in the milk. Officials estimate that about 20 percent of the dairy companies tested in China sell products tainted with melamine.
Interviews with Chinese mothers, allowed only one child, holding their infants gasping in pain from multiple kidney stones should be enough, this time, to force the Chinese to regulate their industry. But then, the thousands of pet owners last year who took their gasping dogs and cats into the veteranarians ill-equiped to diagnose the problem until a reporter tracked down the Chinese shack used to mix the melamine, did not stop the same thing from happening to humans.
A cautionary tale about doing business with an unregulated industry.
The count of sickened children is expected to rise.
Labels: China, Melamine, Milk Scandal, Pet Food Recall, Reuters, World News