January 17, 2009

Chinese Dairy Buys off Parents and Texts "Sorry"

This is outrageous.

Milk Scandal in China Yields Cash for Parents
The parents of a baby who died last May from drinking tainted milk formula have accepted a cash payment from the dairy company at the center of a nationwide scandal, a lawyer representing the parents said Friday.

The parents, Yi Yongsheng and Jiao Hongfang, are the first to receive compensation for the death of a child from tainted milk. They have accepted more than $29,200 from Sanlu Group, the manufacturer of the baby formula that their 6-month-old son was drinking before he died, said the lawyer, Dong Junming.

China dairies offer text apology
Chinese dairy companies involved in the tainted milk scandal have apologised in a New Year text message sent to millions of mobile phone subscribers.

"We sincerely apologise...and we beg your forgiveness," read the note from 22 dairy firms, led by the now-bankrupt Sanlu, China's state news agency said.

At least six babies died and 290,000 became ill from melamine contamination in milk products made by the companies.
I can't believe it... with ethical violations, gross negligence and intent to harm for a measly profit of selling milk as "more nutritious" due to the addition of a renal toxin ... the best that they can do is give them 29K for dead kids and TEXT "I'm sorry?!?!"

That's just cold. The Chinese government has even gone as far as intervening to prevent demonstrations (and avoid riots... afraid that they will speak out against the government too?) So I guess they think it's ok that the Chinese corporations can get away with murder while the parents of victims are being treated like criminals.

[edit] Melamine and the Global Implications of Food Contamination article in NEJM.

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