Also see: Chinese Better Off Breast Feeding
"Milk comes off shelves as China scandal grows" by Gillian Wong, Associated Press | September 20, 2008
SHIJIAZHUANG, China - China's food safety crisis widened yesterday after the industrial chemical melamine was found in milk produced by three of the country's leading dairy companies - prompting stores, including
The recalls come as evidence is mounting that adding chemicals to watered-down milk was a widespread practice in China's dairy industry. The crisis was initially thought to have been confined to tainted milk powder, used to make baby formula that has been blamed in the deaths of four infants and for sickening 6,200 other children.
But tests found melamine in samples of liquid milk taken from China's two largest dairy producers, Mengniu Dairy Group Co. and Yili Industrial Group Co., as well as Shanghai-based Bright Dairy. The chemical, which is used in plastics and fertilizers, can cause kidney stones and lead to kidney failure.A senior dairy analyst said farmers were cutting corners to cope with rising costs for feed and labor. "Before the melamine incident, I know they could have been adding organic stuff, say animal urine or skin," said Chen Lianfang of Beijing Orient Agribusiness Consultant Co. "Basically, anything that can boost the protein reading."
But he and others expressed skepticism that so many farmers would know to add melamine to milk. The chemical is not water-soluble and must be mixed with formaldehyde or another chemical before it can be dissolved in milk.
"Farmers can't be well-educated enough to think of melamine," Chen said. "There must be people from chemical companies contacting them and telling them it's a good idea."
The crisis highlights the growing influence of dairy products in the Chinese diet. Milk is not part of the traditional Chinese diet, but the country's economic growth and the increased availability of refrigeration have brought about a wide range of products, with flavored milk and sweetened yogurts among the most popular.
That's the effect of AmeriKan culture there!
Though per capita consumption of dairy products in China is still low at 1.5 ounces per day, increasingly affluent Chinese consumers are paying more attention to their health and view milk as highly nutritious, particularly for children.
One wonders how their civilization has made it this far without dairy milk, huh?
How did you guys crank out over a billion people, huh?