Fresh arrests in China milk scandal

Police detain 22 people suspected of supplying melamine to dairy producers.

    More than 54,000 children have been sickened by the tainted milk products [GALLO/GETTY]

    Some 54,000 infants are thought to have been sickened after being fed milk products tainted with melamine, and at least four babies have died.

    The China Daily cited police sources as saying 19 of those arrested in Hebei were managers at dairy pastures, breeding farms and milk purchasing stations.

    "According to the police investigation, melamine was produced in underground plants and then sold to breeding farms and purchasing stations," the newspaper said.

    It said one suspect was thought to have produced a "protein powder" containing melamine – a chemical whose high nitrogen content can fool quality checks.

    Key link

    Officials say milk purchasing stations are being investigated [GALLO/GETTY]
    Another suspect, named Xue, is thought to have sold the powder to milk purchasing stations in the province, the paper said.

    Investigators believe that the purchasing stations were among the key links in the supply chain that allowed the contamination and to take hold and spread.

    News of the arrests follows reports of further cases of melamine contamination in products beyond mainland China.

    On Monday Indonesia's food and drug monitoring agency said a dozen products distributed nationwide have repeatedly tested positive for the chemical.

    They include products by manufacturers Kraft and Mars - which makes M&M and Snickers chocolate.

    The companies involved have questioned the findings and say they will conduct their own tests.

    In China itself, British-based confectionary maker Cadbury said it had recalled 11 types of chocolates made in China, after tests found they contained melamine.

    It said the recall would affect products sold in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Australia.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    What draws Kenyan women to join al-Shabab and what challenges are they facing when they return to their communities?