Chinese milk intentionally poisoned
Mon, 11 Apr 2011 07:06:24 GMT
Police have found that nitrite-tainted milk that killed three children and sickened 36 people in northwest China was deliberately poisoned.
Investigators found that the deadly industrial salt was added to fresh milk from two dairies last week in the Gansu province in order to harm people, Xinhua news agency said.
The report added that local police were questioning several suspects and arrested one person in Pingliang city, where the poisoning took place. The two dairy farms have also been closed.
According to local media, the three children who died were all under 2 years old, and the 36 other victims, mostly children were treated at a hospital in Pingliang.
The hospital had discharged 19 of the patients by Sunday and the remaining 17 were all in stable condition.
China's dairy industry has been struggling with safety issues since 2008 when at least six children died and about 300,000 were sickened after drinking milk contaminated with the industrial melamine.
Melamine was widely used by Chinese dairy manufacturers to artificially boost protein levels and profits before the deadly scandal.
The presence of countless backyard farms and small manufacturers has made enforcing food safety standards difficult for Chinese authorities.
Since the 2008 scandal, 533 of the nation's 1,176 registered dairy manufacturers have failed to qualify for new production licenses, a government food safety watchdog reported this month.