2009). [183] News editors were ordered to adhere to the official copy of Xinhua. The court also sentenced Sanlu deputy general managers Wang Yuliang and Hang Zhiqi to fifteen years and eight years in jail, respectively, and former manager Wu Jusheng to five years. Neither received definitive replies. The Chinese Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) has reported to have found levels of melamine in dairy products (including Infant Formula) that ranged between 0.09 to 6196.61 mg/kg. [21], The WHO referred to the incident as one of the largest food safety events it has had to deal with in recent years. According to Xinhua, Tian pleaded guilty, and told the court she learned about the tainted milk complaints from consumers in mid-May. It said leading government officials in Shijiazhuang city had failed to report the contamination to provincial and state authorities (until 9 September) in violation of rules on reporting major incidents involving food safety. As part of its ongoing effort to find and destroy any melamine-tainted milk remaining on the market, the Chinese government announced that it was recalling 170 tons of powdered milk laced with the industrial chemical which was supposed to have been destroyed or buried in 2008 but has recently found to have been repackaged and placed back into the marketplace. A portable screening system based on Laser Raman spectroscopy has been developed to quantify melamine (Cheng et al. Their new products are conspicuously labelled "safety inspection passed" to allay consumer fears. Mitigate your risk of Food Fraud. Free media in China could compensate for the underdeveloped rule of law, and be important in keeping companies and regulators honest. Chinese government sources indicate contamination of milk components, especially dried milk powder, which are used in the manufacture of a variety of finished foods. HPLC-grade melamine (99.0%), used as a standard, was acquired from Fluka (Milwaukee, WI). The World Health Organization called the incident "deplorable" and at least 11 foreign countries halted all imports of Chinese dairy products. The Beijing Youth Daily reported that farmers had been forced to slaughter tens of thousands of chickens. In response to the surge of contaminated Chinese products, the United States Food and Drug Administration opened its first overseas inspection offices in November 2008, with bureaus in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou. Milk powder samples #6-8 (approximately 1 g each) were accurately weighed into 15-mL centrifuge tubes, and 10 mL water was added to each. "[197], The similarities between China today and New York 150 years ago shouldn't come as a great surprise. The health ministry sent investigators to Gansu in early August. Citing public consensus that government should limit itself to a supervisory role, it urged the construction of a regulatory system which addressed the role of regulators watching over the production process, avoiding over-regulation, 'regulatory capture' and abuse of power by regulators. A number of yet-to-be-officially-acknowledged cases were reported by the media. We are learning that regulators have lost the ability, if they ever had it, to truly monitor the extent of the danger. BIO 3HD3: Human Disasters Dr. Seymour Group Members: Daniella Afonso, Emma Biancaniello, Matthew Fantauzzi, Camille Giuliano, Chelsea Young An estimated 9,000 tons of product had been recalled. Queues formed outside Sanlu's offices for refunds. As a result of this dilution the milk has a lower protein concentration. Actions taken in 2008 by the Government of China have reduced the practice of adulteration, with the goal of eliminating it. [46] According to the People's Daily, Sanlu wrote a letter to Shijiazhuang city government on 2 August 2008, asking for help to "increase control and coordination of the media, to create a good environment for the recall of the company's problem products ... to avoid whipping up the issue and creating a negative influence in society". [214] The South Korean supplies were traced to two companies in Dalian. [26], The government said on 8 October it would no longer issue updated figures "because it is not an infectious disease, so it's not absolutely necessary for us to announce it to the public". [189], An official said that central government had issued instructions placing the cases on hold, pending a decision on how to handle the cases in a unified manner. [208] Though officially banned or forbidden by the Chinese government, clever use of Chinese web services such as Baidu allows Chinese citizens to access this and many other forbidden materials. Experiments revealed that melamine is poorly retained when the pH is lower than 3.5. The Acclaim Mixed-Mode WCX-1 column features a mixed-mode silica-based packing material that incorporates both hydrophobic and weak cation-exchange properties. A researcher at the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention said that any amount exceeding 1 ppm would give reason to suspect its presence was intentional. [126], The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said while food containing melamine below 2.5 parts per million generally did not raise concerns, its scientists were "currently unable to establish any level of melamine and melamine-related compounds in infant formula that does not raise public health concerns". Unhealthy business, "Despite Warnings, China's Regulators Failed to Stop Tainted Milk", "China's elite eat pure food as babies die", "China milk scandal threatens giant dairy firm", "Tainted Milk: Regulatory Do's and Don'ts", "Sanlu's public relations pawns: a relay of lies in China's media", "Are poisonous dairy products are still on the shelves in China? Samples tested showed up to 2,470ppm of melamine. [67] Zhang was convicted for producing 800 tons of the contaminated powder, Geng for producing and selling toxic food. It has also been employed as a non-protein nitrogen, appearing in soy meal, corn gluten meal and cottonseed meal used in cattle feed. The value of the company plunged as a result of the scandal. [15], Caijing reported in 2008 that "spiking fresh milk with additives such as melamine" was no longer a secret to Hebei dairy farmers for the past two years. [130], The World Health Organization, which was only notified on 11 September,[131] asked Beijing why it took so many months for the scandal to become public, and to establish whether failure was deliberate or due to ignorance. [83], On 1 December, China's Ministry of Health issued an update, saying nearly 300,000 babies were sickened after consuming melamine-contaminated infant formula. The scandal involved milk and infant formula along with other food materials and components being adulterated with melamine. [138], On 4 October, the Ministry of Agriculture announced it had drawn up an emergency rescue plan with the Ministry of Finance to give special subsidies to dairy farmers seriously affected by the lack of demand following the contamination scandal; local governments had already drafted policies to stabilise the dairy industry; 150,000 officials had been sent to overhaul the entire supply chains from cattle feed to milk collection; 18,803 milk-collecting stations had been registered and checked by these officials. He also said that its export products were less likely to be contaminated. "[50] Western media speculated China's desire for a perfect summer Olympics contributed to the delayed recall of the baby milk, citing a guideline allegedly issued to Chinese media that reporting food safety issues, such as cancer-causing mineral water, was "off-limits"[50][51][52] although the Central government denied issuing this guidance. "[181], On 16 September, the AQSIQ published results of tests on 408 liquid milk producers, and found "most dairy products were safe to drink", although the test results showed nearly 10 percent of batches from Mengniu, Yili and Bright were contaminated. [25] Non-human casualties included a lion cub and two baby orangutans which had been fed Sanlu infant formula at Hangzhou Zoo. [185], In 2012, Jiang Weisuo, a 44-year-old general manager of a dairy products plant in Shanxi province, was rumoured to have been murdered in Xi'an city. Milk suppliers accordingly resorted to subtler cost-cutting methods to preserve diminishing profits. Although there was an immediate trade recall, Fonterra said that local administrators refused an official recall. "[34], Contaminated products found in the China AQSIS tests include baby formula products produced by the following companies, in order of highest concentration found. [56], Tian Wenhua, Chairwoman and general manager of Sanlu and Secretary of the Sanlu Communist Party chapter was stripped of her party and functional posts during an extraordinary meeting of the Hebei provincial standing committee of the CCP;[57] four Shijiazhuang officials, including vice mayor in charge of food and agriculture, Zhang Fawang, were reportedly removed from office. [98], On 29 September, British confectionery group Cadbury was forced to withdraw its 11 chocolate products in China on suspicion of melamine contamination, in turn causing it to close down its three factories in China. Baker (Phillipsburg, NJ). [217] The Taiwanese Department of Health said that six batches of protein powder from Jilin and Dalian were found to contain 1.90 to 5.03ppm of melamine. The chemical is not water-soluble, and must be mixed with formaldehyde or another chemical before it can be dissolved in milk. [226] Wholesalers have refused to stock products without melamine inspection certificates. Working groups were established in nearly every single province in order to set up new food testing centres and replace outdated equipment. The AQSIQ announced on 5 October that all tests showed all milk produced after 14 September were free from contamination. Quality tests can be falsified with additives: peroxide is added to prevent milk going bad; industrial vegetable oil is emulsified and added to boost fat levels; whey is used to increase lactose content. [116] Because of a great public outcry, the Import and Export (General) (Amendment) Regulation 2013 was passed in Hong Kong, prohibiting the unlicensed export of powdered formula, including milk and soya milk powder for infants and children under 36 months. [7], Melamine is used to manufacture melamine-formaldehyde resin, a type of plastic known for its flame-retardant properties and commonly employed in countertops, dry-erase boards, etc. the Buyer's Guide for Laboratory Professionals. The ministry was reported to have investigated 98 dairy producers and farms, banned 151 illegal companies and indicted three manufacturers for feed containing melamine. The Web sites of Xinhua and People's Daily both carried a story from the Nanfang Daily that mixing melamine into animal feed was an "open secret" in the industry: melamine scrap was mixed into an inexpensive "protein powder" resold to feed suppliers. [32], Urinary calculi specimens were collected from 15 cases treated in Beijing and were analysed as unknown objects for their components at Beijing Institute of Microchemistry using infrared spectroscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance, and high-performance liquid chromatography. The recall affected the China markets, as well as Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and Australia. [81] Mengniu's CFO attempted to reassure consumers by offering a no-quibble refund on all products, and by drinking liquid milk in front of reporters in Hong Kong. To each was added 1 mL dilute HAc (3%, v/v), and sample solutions were stored at 4 °C for at least 30 min. [174], According to a senior quality inspectorate official, the government aimed to establish nearly 400 product testing centres within the next two years, and 80 of these would be food testing centres. [54], On 2 January, a website created by individuals protesting against Sanlu was also blocked by the authorities. The World Health Organization (WHO) said melamine may be found "in a variety of milk and milk products at varying levels, from low ppb to ppm ranges". [146] Parents of the Henan child had claimed ¥150,000 for medical, travel and other expenses incurred after their child developed kidney stones. [75], On 25 December, Shijiazhuang court accepted a creditor's bankruptcy petition against Sanlu. Melamine is used to manufacture melamine-formaldehyde resin, a type of plastic known for its flame-retardant properties and commonly employed in countertops, dry-erase boards, etc. Approximately 38 tonnes of raw materials had been purchased from Hebei, raising the possibility that traders had bought tainted milk that was supposed to have been destroyed after the 2008 scandal. For milk powder samples #1-5, spiked samples were prepared by adding 20 µL of the stock standard solution of melamine to the 50-mL centrifuge tubes together with the weighed sample, and then following the first procedure above. [118], Although the Hong Kong government imposed a strict 2-can limit on the export of infant formula in March 2013,[119] spurred price differentials caused by sales tax on the mainland and lax customs, trafficking activity including for powdered milk has continued, exacerbating the Hong Kong-Mainland conflict. A shopper in Shanghai examines milk powder in 2008. [227], The Chinese government said that producers violating the law "could have their licenses revoked and be handed over to law enforcement organs". [36] A Fonterra director had given Sanlu management a document detailing the European Union's permitted levels of melamine, but Fonterra chief executive Andrew Ferrier has stated that at no time did Fonterra say small amounts of melamine were acceptable. They urged member states to base import restrictions on scientific risk assessments, and to use official WTO notification mechanisms. With an ion-pairing reagent in the mobile phase, melamine is well retained. Notably, 13,459 children had been affected in Gansu, Reuters quoted Xinhua saying Henan had reported over 30,000 cases, and Hebei also had nearly 16,000 cases. It has also been employed as a non-protein nitrogen, appearing in soy meal, corn gluten meal and cottonseed meal used in cattle feed. [213], Japanese and South Korean authorities' tests on imported powdered eggs from China found melamine contamination. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis2018,69 , 98-106. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jfca.2018.02.010. [30] On 1 December, Xinhua reported that the Ministry of Health revised the number of victims to more than 290,000 with 51,900 hospitalized; authorities acknowledged receiving reports of 11 suspected deaths from melamine contaminated powdered milk from provinces, but officially confirmed three deaths. Prior to use, the SPE column was activated by passing 3 mL CH3OH and 5 mL H2O through in turn. Police have detained the owner and production director of the factory. The Kjeldahl and Dumas methods used to test for protein levels fail to distinguish between nitrogen in melamine and naturally occurring in amino acids, allowing the protein levels to be falsified. In addition to the tax revenues to local authorities—Sanlu contributed ¥330 million in 2007, many companies invite local officials to become "silent partners" in their corporations—in return for "protection" at the political level; former Sanlu chairman Tian Wenhua was made honorary deputy to the Provincial People's Congress. "[170], On 6 October 2008, putting the blame on "illegal production and greed", the country's "chaotic dairy production and distribution order", and the "gravely absent supervision" for the crisis, the State Council announced new dairy industry regulations. Alicia Wong (10 November 2008). A NIR hyperspectral imaging system was used to acquire images (938–1654 nm) of melamine powder, whole milk powder, nonfat milk powder, and mixtures of melamine and each of the milk powders. [106], There were concerns dairy products consumed during the 2008 Summer Olympics may have been contaminated. [149] Following weeks of discussions, and in the absence of a compensation plan, a group of 15 lawyers filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of 100 families against Sanlu, seeking medical and other expenses as well as compensation for trauma and for death of an offspring. [113][114], The scandal led to an erosion of trust in locally produced infant formula and from then on, many Shenzhen residents and parallel traders travelled across the border to purchase powdered milk from Hong Kong shops. Supermarket shelves had been swept bare from product recalls. "The potential for long-term complications after exposure to melamine remains a serious concern", the report said. [224] Prices at a large Beijing wholesale market dropped 10%,[225] and prices fell by 10% the day after news of the contamination broke in Hong Kong. The dry powder mixtures of milk and melamine were placed in 50 mL polypropylene centrifuge tubes and shaken with a vortex mixer for over 1 min to make sure that the melamine particles were uniformly distributed in the dry milk. [53] However, a journalist at Southern Weekend wrote an investigative report in late July for publication about infants who had fallen ill after consuming baby formula from Sanlu. The Inner Mongolia region produces over one-fourth of China's milk,[88] and Mengniu and Yili have invested millions to establish state-of-the-art dairy facilities in its capital, Hohhot. [138] She added: "We need to try our very best to tell [mothers] the difference [between breast milk and formula]. Adulteration on such a scandalous scale occurs in societies with a toxic combination of characteristics: a fast-growing capitalist economy coupled with a government unable or unwilling to regulate the food supply. After 1 min of vortex shaking, samples were placed in an ultrasonic bath for 30 min, and then shaken again for 10 min. [153], The dairy scandal has raised the core question of whether the ruling Communist Party is capable of creating a transparent, accountable regulatory structure within a one-party system. [144] Children who fell ill before the scandal broke on 12 September were not entitled to free medical care offered by the State. [65], During the week of 22 December 2008, 17 people involved in producing, selling, buying and adding melamine in raw milk went on trial. [27] Reuters compiled figures reported by local media across the country, and said the toll stood at nearly 94,000 at the end of September, excluding municipalities. Many had lost faith in local brands, with others unsure of which brands were safe. [nF 1] He said that the new standard reflected "the reality of the domestic dairy farm industry". Tian Wenhua, former Sanlu general manager, and three other company executives appeared in court in Shijiazhuang, charged with producing and selling milk contaminated with melamine. The press release on the award, written by a senior public relations manager at Sanlu, passed as news content on People's Daily and in other media. Why was melamine added into milk and powdered infant formula. After the initial focus on Sanlu, further government inspections revealed that products from 21 other companies were also tainted, including those from Arla Foods–Mengniu, Yili, and Yashili. VWD-3400RS UV-VIS detector (all from Dionex), New Nanoantibodies Against SARS-CoV-2 Developed in a Llama, Mitochondria Repair Gene Could be the Secret to the Fountain of Youth, Research Suggests Biosimilar SARS-CoV-2-Like Particles Extremely Sensitive to Temperature, The Relationship Between COVID-19 and Sunlight, The Impact of Design Innovations in Multi-Parameter Monitoring, Keeping Drinking Water Safe: Precise, Reliable Determination of ‘Forever Chemicals’ Using Advanced Technology, Optimizing Your Operation During Challenging Times, New Mass Spectrometry Technology Simplifies Solid Sample Analysis, Tackling Polymer, Biopolymer, and Electronics Recycling with Innovative Testing & Analysis and Best Practices, A Fast Method for Determination of Melamine in Liquid Milk and Milk Powder by HPLC With UV Detection. [4][58] Sanlu, whose products sell at half the price of equivalents on the market,[77] recorded the highest levels of contamination among all the samples tested, at 2,563 mg/kg or parts per million ("ppm"). Under pressure, melamine releases water, which could make the plastic unstable if it is not removed. [188], Chang Boyang, one of the group of volunteer lawyers, said he had filed a suit in Guangdong against Sanlu on behalf of the parents of one victim. [63] Among those arrested were two brothers who ran a milk collection centre in Hebei for allegedly supplying three tonnes of adulterated milk daily to the dairy;[64] the owner of another collection centre which resold seven tons of milk a day to Sanlu, was arrested, and his operation was shut down. [2][3], The scandal was first exposed on 16 July, after sixteen babies in Gansu Province were diagnosed with kidney stones. [48][49] After the memo began circulating on the internet, Baidu denounced, in a communiqué on 13 September 2008, the approaches by said agency on several occasions, saying the proposal was firmly rejected, as it violated their corporate principles of unbiased and transparent reporting. [209], Because of the high Chinese demand for quality Australian products, major Australian retailers implemented tin limits to control sales of baby formula, but reports of daigou shoppers flouting the system with people taking multiple tins of the formula before they’d been placed on shelves, and the daigou shoppers stripping shelves in groups of up to eight people, before Australian mothers could access the baby food. [223], Jorgen Schlundt, head of food safety at the WHO criticised China's food-safety system for being "disjointed", saying that "poor communications between ministries and agencies may have prolonged the outbreak of melamine poisoning. [28], In late October, the government announced health officials had surveyed 300,000 Beijing families with children less than 3 years old. [164][165] His successor, Yeh Ching-chuan, announced a return to the original zero-tolerance policy to melamine.[166][167]. Wu Heping, secretary general of the Heilongjiang Dairy Industry Association noted that between 75% and 90% of raw milk in some provinces had failed to reach the old protein level standard (in place since 1986) in 2007 and 2008. Of an estimated 300,000 victims,[1] 6 babies died from kidney stones and other kidney damage and an estimated 54,000 babies were hospitalized. [38] His complaints to regulators and dairy makers in 2005 and 2006 never yielded any result; his story was picked up by China Central Television, who ran a report complete with footage of adulteration in progress, yet the Shaanxi Quality and Technical Supervision Bureau said they failed to find evidence of wrongdoing. [31], On characterisation and treatment of urinary stones in affected infants, the New England Journal of Medicine printed an editorial in March 2009, along with reports on cases from Beijing, Hong Kong and Taipei. The European Commission also called for tighter checks on other Chinese food imports;[122][123] isolated contaminated products were found in the Netherlands, and the French authorities ordered all Chinese dairy products off the shelves;[124] Tesco removed White Rabbit as a precaution from its stores in the United Kingdom. "Keeping the market in order and ensuring independent law enforcement should be part of the mandate. Time Magazine cited many analysts saying the party's need to maintain control of the economy and of information undermines the independence of any regulatory system. [115] Lower confidence in Chinese production, combined with the relaxation of visa requirements for mainland citizens, had resulted in shortages of infant formula in Hong Kong for an extended time. The Beijing Lawyers' Association, a part of the Communist Party apparatus, asked its members "to put faith in the party and government". USP’s new wet blended Skim Milk Powder with melamine reference materials can give you the confidence that your quality control methods are able to detect melamine adulteration. Geng Jinping managed a milk production center which supplied milk to Sanlu Group and other dairies. Malaysian authorities said it was probable cross contamination of batches from Chinese companies Broadtech Chemical Int. [77] Mengniu recalled all its baby formula, and trading in its shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange was suspended on 17 September. In such get-rich-quick societies, there is a huge temptation to tamper with food, particularly when margins are low. [36] Hebei provincial vice-governor said his administration was only notified by Shijiazhuang on 8 September. High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) (also called high-pressure liquid chromatography) is a solution-phase technique for fractionation of …Learn More, American Lab is Powered by Labcompare, For liquid milk samples #9-10, spiked samples were prepared by adding 40 µL of the stock standard solution of melamine to the 15-mL centrifuge tubes together with the measured sample, and then following the second procedure above. The spokesman said the scale of the problem proved it was "clearly not an isolated accident, [but] a large-scale intentional activity to deceive consumers for simple, basic, short-term profits". [146] Chang said that Henan's justice department had ordered 14 Henan lawyers to stop helping the kidney stone victims, saying it had become a political issue. You can't cure the disease, or save the Chinese people, until you get to the root of the problem." [29] Hong Kong Secretary for Food and Health, York Chow, suspected the melamine came from feed given to the chickens that laid the eggs. Investigators also blamed the Shijiazhuang government. [117] According to the HK government, the regulation is not applicable to "powdered formula that is exported in the accompanied personal baggage of a person aged 16 or above leaving Hong Kong if the person did not leave Hong Kong in the last 24 hours and the formula does not exceed 1.8 kg in total net weight". "[200], In the 10 November 2008 issue of the Singaporean newspaperToday, Bill Durodié, then a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies responded to the possibility of more such incidents in the future due to the more liberal trading relations with China by saying: "exposing the Chinese to the world market is probably the fastest way of addressing these issues. "[189], As a reaction to and comment on the scandal, Chinese artist and video animation producer Pi San created "Little Rabbit, Be Good" as part of his popular Kuang Kuang video series. All of these toxins end up in the final food products (all kinds of produce, meat, dairy products etc.). [60] Local Party Secretary Wu Xianguo was fired on the same day. [176] During an investigation into melamine contamination at Yili and Mengniu in Hohhot, police arrested six more people for allegedly selling and mixing melamine into raw milk. Antibiotics and hormones are used in the raising of animals. "[205], David Bandurski, journalist and researcher at China Media Project, criticised the crippling media controls by the state combined with "runaway commercial greed", and said that the censorship "suppresses information critical to the well-being of ordinary Chinese". Copyright © 2020 CompareNetworks, Inc. All rights reserved. ", ... Everyone knows that at present average production facilities use large quantities of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Melamine is known to cause kidney failureand kidney stones in hu… [68] The China Daily reported Geng had knelt on the courtroom floor and begged the victim's families for forgiveness during the trial. "[203], Access Asia, a Shanghai-based consumer consultancy, said Fonterra was a classic example of western executives in China "believ[ing] advice in business books that they must avoid making their local partners 'lose face' at all costs". It said all 11 samples from Sanlu failed the melamine test. [137] It saw regulation failing to keep pace with the rapid development of the food and industrial production as opening the gates to all types of misbehaviour and malfeasance. [89] Both companies were said by farmers and agents to have habitually purchased milk which failed quality tests, for only two-thirds the normal price. It noted that in 2008 dairy farmers became squeezed by growing costs of livestock, feed, facilities, and government-imposed price caps. [215] On 26 October, Hong Kong authorities discovered 4.7ppm melamine in eggs from Dalian.

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