Friday, September 26, 2008

Change of Diet

At lunchtime I saw a new notice on the bulletin board near the canteen.

It listed the three dairy producers and every one of their milk products found contaminated with melamine.

They range from baby milk formula to liquid milk.

The buzz here is that Beijing dairy producer San Yuan is safe and its shares have shot through the roof after reports said no melamine was found in its milk. It's hard to say if absolutely no melamine was detected. Some think it's because San Yuan is a supplier to the central government so it ensures there are no contaminants in it.

Hard to say.

When I talked to a group of colleagues this afternoon about the milk scandal, most had stopped drinking milk altogether and changed to soy milk. One coworker even told me her mother sent her a soy making machine that churns the drink out in about 10 minutes. She tried to persuade me that it was easy to do and better to make it yourself.

Others are so used to drinking milk everyday, that all they can do is change brands. One is still drinking a brand that was found to have contaminated milk. She admits that maybe she's not scared enough to change her ways.

On the whole they are all upset about the milk food scandal. They are concerned about the babies and children who died and the ones that are sick with urinary tract infections because their parents wanted to give them the best nutrition.

They know the government should step up to the plate to revamp the entire dairy system, but stop short of actually criticizing it in front of me, perhaps not wanting to look unpatriotic in front of a foreigner.

I tried to ease the accusations by explaining Canada is still dealing with a listeriosis outbreak that has killed 18 people, and there are 48 confirmed cases. The situation is very similar in that there was a time delay in warning the public about the meat contaminated with the bacteria.

They were shocked when I told them Sanlu, the first dairy company responsible for the four deaths, is also the official drink for the astronauts.

They thought that maybe they couldn't drink the milk because it would give them gas. Or that liquid is difficult to drink in space.

But I said, since they're only in space for 68 hours, the chances of them drinking that much milk is pretty slim.

Even though there are no cases of adults diagnosed with kidney stones from drinking melamine-laced milk, one wonders how long it will take before a large crop of people are found to have kidney stones made from the chemical.

This issue isn't going away anytime soon.


Anonymous said...

the milk scandal is really freaking out k. we are both grossed out. and boycotting made in china foods.

you would be shocked to find out what is imported from china to canada. aside from the canned stuffs, there's also fresh produce and any number of baked goods. i almost fainted when i realized that we've been eating fresh garlic bulbs from china!

ks said...

China should really clean up its act in order to regain international confidence of Chinese products be it food stuff or otherwise.