Sunday, September 21, 2008

Milk & Dairy Crisis in China

With the financial crisis affecting many people across the globe, many of you may not know about the food crisis that is affecting China.

First it was the Chinese produced "Sanlu" baby milk power which was tainted and has killed at least 4 babies to date and has 6,000 babies still sick. Now it's milk and dairy products - the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) has now announced that liquid milk sold by three top Chinese producers has also been found to be tainted with melamine.

From AP:
"A report posted on the agency's Web site said test results show nearly 10 per cent of samples taken from Mengniu Dairy Group and Yili Industrial Group - China's two largest dairy companies - contained up to 8.4 milligrammes of melamine per kilogramme.

Milk from Shanghai-based Bright Dairy also shows melamine contamination.

'AQSIQ will strictly find out the reason for adding the melamine and severely punish those who are responsible,' the notice said.

It said all the batches that tested positive were being recalled."

I don't know about the locals, but I can tell you that many of the expats in Shanghai are running around buying up as much imported milk as they can get their hands on. This probably isn't the best strategy but I can understand where people are coming from, especially those with children who drink a lot of milk. People are concerned about school as well, and what they've been giving children during the day.

Contrary to popular belief living in China isn't cheap. We spend A LOT of money on food every week going to 2-3 different stores just to get the basics that we know are clean, organic and healthy. Imported food isn't cheap but with all the issues surrounding locally made products it is unfortunately what I and many many other people (not just expats) have to buy.

But what about the people who can't afford to go to the few organic stores in Shanghai for good meat and vegetables, who can't afford to pay 2 or 3 times the price for imported milk? They have to be subjected to food that could kill them? It's sickening to think that high level business men and government officials out there are ok with letting people ingest poison so they can make more money.

More articles on this topic:

1. http://shanghaiist.com/2008/09/19/crisis_hits_the_liquid_milk_industr.php

2. http://www.cityweekend.com.cn/shanghai/articles/blogs-shanghai/family-matters-shanghai/milk-crisis-hits-home/

3. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/21/world/asia/21china.html?ex=1379649600&en=8a2d59decc4a4f75&ei=5124&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink

2 comments:

Swiss Miss said...

Yes, that is really awful. It must be a lot of work and money to always try to find imported stuff! And it's sad that you have to do so.

Anonymous said...

This isn't the first time greedy businessmen have tainted baby milk, and it probably won't be the last. The exact same thing happened four years ago, just with different people.