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September 18, 2008

CHINA: Fourth baby dies as Beijing pledges dairy overhaul

A fourth baby has died and more than 6,000 infants are sick after consuming baby formula contaminated with the industrial chemical melamine, it emerged today (18 September).

A fourth baby has died and more than 6,000 infants are sick after consuming baby formula contaminated with the industrial chemical melamine, it emerged today (18 September).

Hong Kong’s Centre for Food Safety also revealed today that it found melamine in Yili brand liquid milk, ice cream and yoghurt. The products are being recalled.

The news comes a day after the country’s highest governing body, the State Council, vowed a radical shake-up of supervision of the booming dairy industry.

“The Sanlu infant milk powder incident reflects chaos in the dairy products market and loopholes in supervision and administration which has not been vigorous,” a summary of a meeting held by the council said.

It promised to “resolutely punish the criminals and culpable businesses, supervisory agencies and administrative heads…and enact administration rules as soon as possible”.

The council also pledged to continue to support dairy farmers and help the industry recover from the scandal.

Last year, China executed the director of its food and drug administration after a spate of dangerous food and pharmaceutical products reached international markets. It also pledged to overhaul its food safety system with new laws published this year.

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