Death Toll Rises to 4 in China’s Melamine Tainted Baby Formula Scandal
September 19, 2008
Yesterday, Chinese health officials reported the fourth infant death linked to the country’s unfolding scandal involving contaminated baby formula. The tainted baby formula has already sickened 6,244 babies, with more than 1,300 babies, mostly newborns, remaining hospitalized and 158 suffering from acute kidney failure.
The contaminated baby formula contains melamine, an industrial chemical commonly used in coatings and laminates, wood adhesives, fabric coatings, ceiling tiles, and flame retardants. According to health experts, ingesting melamine can lead to kidney stones, urinary tract ulcers, and eye and skin irritation.
Although the vast majority of the tainted baby formula was consumed within China, the same baby formula is known to have been exported to Taiwan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Yemen, Chad and Burundi. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said, however, that no Chinese baby formula has been allowed on the U.S. market. In a statement on its website, the FDA said it had reached out to all five companies making baby formula in the United States and none have used baby formula or source materials from China.
As of today, at least 18 people have been arrested in connection with the tainted baby formula scandal. Two brothers who sold milk used to produce the contaminated baby formula were arrested by Chinese investigators Monday and could face death if convicted. Apparently, the brothers watered down raw milk and added melamine to fool quality checks.
So far, milk product samples from three Chinese dairies have tested positive for trace amounts of tripolycyanamide, also known as melamine. The positive samples came from the Mengniu, Yili and Bright dairies, according to the Xinhua news agency.
The contaminated baby formula episode marks the latest in a string of tainted products produced in China. Last year, thousands of pets in the United States fell ill, and many died, after consuming pet food imported from China contaminated with melamine, the same chemical found in the powdered milk baby formula.
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If your child has been injured as a result of contaminated baby products, such as baby formula, contact us today as you may be entitled to compensation for your child’s injuries.