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Tainted Chinese milk kills second child

  • Story Highlights
  • Government inspectors plan to release test results Tuesday; 2nd death announced
  • Sanlu is one of China's leading dairy producers
  • Melamine found in 700 tons of Sanlu's product, Xinhua cites mayor as saying
  • Ingesting melamine can lead to kidney stones, eye and skin irritation
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BEIJING, China (CNN) -- Officials on Monday announced the death of a second child who consumed contaminated milk powder. More than 1,200 others have been sickened, according to China's Health Ministry.

Of that number, 340 infants are hospitalized and 53 are considered to be in serious condition.

Government inspectors are testing baby formula around China and plan to release their results on Tuesday, said Li Changjiang, head of the State Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, according to the Xinhua news agency.

The manufacturer, Sanlu Group, has recalled more than 8,200 tons of the tainted formula following reports of babies developing kidney stones, Xinhua said. Video Watch what Sanlu has done »

Sanlu, one of China's leading dairy producers, has also sealed off more than 2,100 tons of contaminated product, and another 700 tons still need to be recalled, the news agency said.

It is not the first time Sanlu has been connected to a scandal involving tainted milk powder, according to China Daily.

In 2004, at least 13 infants in the eastern Anhui province died of malnutrition after drinking milk powder that had little to no nutrition. The illegally manufactured milk was falsely labeled with the Sanlu brand, according to the paper.

More than 170 other babies were hospitalized as a result of drinking the cheap milk powder.

Chinese police have questioned 78 people -- including dairy farmers and milk dealers -- about the most recent contamination, a Chinese official told Xinhua Saturday. Sanlu would not say whether its employees are being investigated, Xinhua said.

Testing by Sanlu found tripolycyanamide, also known as melamine, in 700 tons of its product, said Zhao Xinchao, the vice mayor of Shijiazhuang, the news agency reported.

Zhao told the news agency that the suspects added water to the milk they sold to Sanlu to make more money, then added the chemical so the diluted milk could still meet standards.

Inspectors found the chemical in Sanlu infant formula produced by one of the company's partner producers in northwest Gansu Province, an official said Sunday.

Two of 12 samples randomly selected from the Sanlu milk powder produced by the Haoniu Dairy Company in Jiuquan City tested positive for melamine, said Xian Hui, the vice-governor of Gansu.

Health experts say ingesting melamine can lead to kidney stones, urinary tract ulcers, and eye and skin irritation.

The chemical is commonly used in coatings and laminates, wood adhesives, fabric coatings, ceiling tiles and flame retardants.

Hundreds of Wal-Mart and Carrefour stores in China are pulling the Sanlu milk powder from their shelves, Xinhua said.

This episode marks the latest in a string of tainted products produced in China.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recalled more than 150 brands of cat and dog food last year after finding that some pets became ill or died after eating food tainted with melamine, the same chemical found in the powdered milk.

Two Chinese businesses, a U.S. company and top executives of each were indicted by a federal grand jury in February in connection with tainted pet food, which resulted in deaths and serious illnesses in up to thousands of U.S. pets, federal prosecutors said.

In October 2007, regulators and retailers in the United States recalled at least 69,000 Chinese-made toys over concerns of excessive amounts of lead paint, which can cause hazardous lead poisoning.

In November, shipments of the popular toy Aqua Dots were found to have been contaminated with a toxic chemical that turned into a powerful "date rape" drug if swallowed, causing some children who ate the craft toys to vomit and lose consciousness.

And in February, a Maryland candy distributor pulled Pokemon-brand Valentine lollipops from store shelves after bits of metal were found in the sealed treats, authorities said.

Officials on Monday announced the death of a second child who consumed contaminated milk powder.

Of the more than 1,200 others who have been sickened, 340 infants were hospitalized, and 53 considered to be in serious condition, according to China's Health Ministry.

Government inspectors were testing baby formula around China and plan to release their results on Tuesday, said Li Changjiang, head of the State Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, according to the Xinhua news agency.

The manufacturer, Sanlu Group, has recalled more than 8,200 tons of the tainted formula following reports of babies developing kidney stones, Xinhua said.

Sanlu, one of China's leading dairy producers, also has sealed off more than 2,100 tons of contaminated product, and another 700 tons still need to be recalled, the news agency said.

Chinese police have questioned 78 people, including dairy farmers and milk dealers, about the contamination, a Chinese official told Xinhua Saturday. Sanlu would not say whether its employees were being investigated, Xinhua said.

Testing by Sanlu found tripolycyanamide, also known as melamine, in 700 tons of its product, said Zhao Xinchao, the vice mayor of Shijiazhuang, the news agency reported.

Zhao told the news agency that the suspects added water to the milk they sold to Sanlu to make more money, then added the chemical so that the diluted milk could still meet standards.

Inspectors found the chemical in Sanlu infant formula produced by one of the company's partner producers in northwest Gansu Province, an official said Sunday.

Two of 12 samples randomly selected from the Sanlu milk powder produced by the Haoniu Dairy Company in Jiuquan City tested positive for melamine, said Xian Hui, the vice-governor of Gansu.

Ingesting melamine can lead to kidney stones, urinary tract ulcers, and eye and skin irritation, health experts said.

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The chemical is commonly used in coatings and laminates, wood adhesives, fabric coatings, ceiling tiles and flame retardants. The chemical was also involved in the massive pet food recall last year.

Hundreds of Wal-Mart and Carrefour stores in were pulling the Sanlu milk powder from their shelves, Xinhua said.

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