China Puts 2 Men to Death Over Tainted Milk Scandal

By Andrew Moseman | November 24, 2009 5:36 pm

PowderedMilk220China has dished out justice in the tainted milk case, and severe justice at that. The country has executed two men, Zhang Yujun and Geng Jinping, convicted  in January of crimes connected to last summer’s powered milk and infant formula contamination incident, which killed six children and sickened about 300,000 people in total.

Zhang, a farmer, produced some 770 tonnes of the powder from July 2007 to August 2008 which was laced with an industrial chemical, melamine, used in the manufacture of plastics and fertiliser [The Telegraph]. Geng was convicted of selling the powder to dairy brokers. The Supreme Court reviewed the cases before the executions, now done with lethal injection, took place. Nineteen other people were convicted of crimes; three got life sentences.

Melamine can cause kidney stones and kidney failure in humans, and has turned up in tainted pet food in the United States. Twenty-two Chinese dairy farms were found to have sold the bad milk, and in all paid about $160 million in damages.

The timing of the initial government response raised some eyebrows abroad. The scandal, which erupted in September last year, highlighted shoddy food safety standards in China and the readiness of the authorities to hush up problems that could have cast a shadow over the Beijing Olympics in August [The Times]. According to The Times, the toxic milk first sickened people in March of 2008, but the product wasn’t recalled until September.

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Image: Wiki Commons

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Health & Medicine
  • http://none Gordon

    Do we have any real reporters any more? What happened to: What,Why When,
    How,Who? This story is not complete.

  • Mike

    As best I can, I try not to buy things made there. A while back at the Ralph Lauren Bev Hills location he had an “American Classics” collection, old style quilts and throws. All made in China, the quilt was $750. I wonder how much it cost him to have it made over there? At Cracker Barrel restaurants – hometown americana food and “Ole Country store”…all the junk in the store was made in China, would not suprise me if the catfish they serves are imported from China too. What are they feeding their raised animals, what are they putting on their crops for foods that they export?

    Faux pork buns, tainted milk, rotten drywall, deadly pet food, toxic toys, endless factories spewing soots – it’s just a big toxic mess. All in the name of providing objects that most of us can live without and don’t need.

    If it’s made there, I think long and hard about it, and how bad I “need” it. I also like to see if there is an american made alternative.

  • coryy

    okay. he produced the powder…the milk powder or the laced milk powder? who sold him the melamine? who’s going after the melamine producers who flooded the market? did he do the adultering of the powder or did that happen after it left his farm? will we ever know? where is all the melamine going now?

    i agree, gordon, this raises more questions than it answers.


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