Saturday, January 24, 2009

Almost Closing a Chapter

The China Dairy Industry Association says some 90 percent of the families whose children were affected by the contaminated milk have been compensated.

As of yesterday, families of 262,662 children who were sickened after drinking the milk mixed with melamine signed compensation agreements with the dairy companies the association said.

The rest are stuck in paperwork limbo, and the association claims it's because of wrong or untrue registration of names. It adds only a handful of families are still holding out to launch lawsuits.

The Ministry of Health claims six babies died and 296,000 ill with urinary tract infections.

Sanlu Group and 21 other dairy companies have offered 200,000 RMB ($29,236) to those families whose babies died, and 30,000 RMB to those with serious cases like kidney stones and acute kidney failure, and 2,000 RMB for less severe cases.

This announcement comes after two men were sentenced to death for their part in the melamine milk scandal earlier this week.

Zhang Yujun was convicted of running an illegal workshop in Shandong Province and producing some 776 tonnes of melamine.

Geng Jinping was found guilty for adding melamine to raw milk and selling it to dairy companies.

And the former general manager of Sanlu Group, Tian Wenhua was sentenced to life imprisonment for selling the contaminated milk even after she knew melamine was added to it.

The two men were charged under Article 144 of the Criminal Law which is about producing and selling poisoned food; Tian and other dairy executives were charged under Article 140 which is about producing and selling shoddy products, which explains the different sentences.

While the government hopes this is the end of the milk scandal, there are still several families who feel justice still hasn't been served.

They blame the government for not regulating the industry properly, which they believe led to the scandal.

Only time will tell if the dairy companies keep their word and really do make sure their products are safe; they are desperate for business as people still aren't drinking as much milk as they used to.

The whole industry needs to be revamped, but no one really wants to take the lead and are perhaps waiting for government direction...


ChopSuey said...

Wishing you a Happy Chinese New Year! I hope the firecrackers don't keep you awake all week!

Anonymous said...

china needs an honest ethical code of conduct in all its products be it food stuff, clothing and consumer goods.