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Deaths uncounted in China’s tainted milk scandal

Posted by Author on November 18, 2008

By CHARLES HUTZLER, The Associated Press, The Washington Post, USA, Saturday, November 15, 2008-

LITI VILLAGE, China — Li Xiaokai died of kidney failure on the old wooden bed in the family farmhouse, just before dawn on a drizzly Sept. 10.

Her grandmother wrapped the 9-month-old in a wool blanket. Her father handed the body to village men for burial by a muddy creek. The doctors and family never knew why she got sick. A day later, state media reported that the type of infant formula she drank had been adulterated with an industrial chemical.

Yet the deaths of Xiaokai and at least four other babies are not included in China’s official death toll from its worst food safety scare in years. The Health Ministry’s count stands at only three deaths.

The stories of these uncounted babies suggest that China’s tainted milk scandal has exacted a higher human toll than the government has so far acknowledged. Without an official verdict on the deaths, families worry they will be unable to bring lawsuits and refused compensation.

So far, nobody is suggesting large numbers of deaths are being concealed. But so many months passed before the scandal was exposed that it’s likely more babies fell sick or died than official figures reflect.

Beijing’s apparent reluctance to admit a higher toll is reinforcing perceptions that the authoritarian government cares more about tamping down criticism than helping families. Lawyers, doctors and reporters have said privately that authorities pressured them to not play up the human cost or efforts to get compensation from the government or Sanlu, the formula maker……. (more details from The Washington Post)

One Response to “Deaths uncounted in China’s tainted milk scandal”

  1. bs1999bs said

    China has acted in a thoroughly inhumane way. It is a discredited World leader and it is about to be caned by the international community for its irresponsibility in the way it has tolerated scams and corruption at the highest levels.

    Sure it will make some pretence in giving a few harsh sentences to certain people but largely speaking the corruption goes to the highest levels. China is deeply involved in the suppression of minorities in many countries, exploitation of natural resources, arming rotten regimes throughout the World, human organ scams, etc. On top of that we see blatant piracy and things like tainted food – the record is shameful. It can’t be “glossed over” by an orchestrated Olympic Games where dissidents were locked out-of-sight from the World community!

    Just as China is experiencing major reverses from the Worldwide financial downturn it will suffer also as more and more countries begin to punish China for the way it is handling so many highly important issues. Bring it on!

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