Two former managers of a baby milk powder factory whose product caused the death of a baby in Weihai city have been sent to prison, the Xinhua news agency reports.

The director of the milk powder factory, surnamed Li, was given a seven-year sentence with a fine of CNY500,000 (US$61,892), and the deputy director in charge of technical affairs, surnamed Liu, was sentenced to three years in prison with five-year's probation.

Starting from last year, babies in Anhui and Jiangsu provinces were reported to suffer from malnutrition due to inferior milk powder. One baby girl in Anhui died of malnutrition.

Investigations showed that all these babies were fed with the same milk powder, which was produced in the coastal city of Weihai in Shandong Province, under the brand name "Lezichun."

From 2002 to 2004, Li and Liu arranged the production of the Lezichun brand substandard milk powder though they were aware the formula was beneath the national standards.

So far, 240,000 packages of such inferior milk powder have been confiscated, valued at CNY900,000.