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Chinese execs face trial over tainted milk

  • Case has nothing to do with 2008 scandal, China Daily cites official as saying
  • Shanghai Panda Dairy Co. Ltd closed last week
  • Twenty-two dairy producers offered compensation to victims' families in 2008 case
  • China

Beijing, China (CNN) -- Three dairy executives will be prosecuted this week in China for selling melamine-tainted milk, state-run media reported.

The case has raised hackles and stirred memories of a tainted milk scandal that killed at least six babies and sickened about 300,000 others in China in 2008.

But this case has nothing to do with the 2008 scandal, said Yan Fengmin, of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, according to China Daily.

The executives in this case are from Shanghai Panda Dairy Co. Ltd., China Daily said. The company was closed last week and the executives were arrested and accused of producing dairy products a year ago that were tainted with melamine.

The chemical also was blamed in the 2008 scandal.

The tainted milk, which was mostly baby formula, came to light in September 2008, after several babies fell ill.

Melamine is commonly used in coatings and laminates, wood adhesives, fabric coatings, ceiling tiles and flame retardants. Some Chinese dairy plants added the chemical to milk products so they would appear to have a higher protein level.

The tainted milk caused kidney stones and urinary tract problems in hundreds of thousands of children.

The 22 Chinese dairy producers that made the formula have offered compensation to victims' families, many of whom have decried such payments as inadequate.

At least two people have been executed for their role in the scandal.