Saturday, September 20, 2008

China's Cabinet urges efforts to save babies stricken with tainted milk powder

China's State Council, or Cabinet, on Friday urges all-out efforts to save babies stricken with tainted baby milk powder, orders to check all dairy products and rectify the dairy industry in an all-round manner.

Medical authorities should provide free examination and treatment for infants who have developed kidney stones after drinking tainted milk, and screening efforts should be beefed up in the countryside and remote areas, according to a circular issued by the State Council.

The medical expenses would be temporarily covered by local finance, and later be compensated by the enterprises which were found responsible, read the circular.

The circular also ordered quality supervision authorities to have an all-round check on the dairy products and asked enterprises to recall all the tainted products.

"Local authorities should rectify the dairy industry so as to bring a fundamental change to the dairy market and products." it said.

The State Council then urged efforts to ensure sufficient domestic milk supply and vowed to punish enterprises, monitoring departments and government leaders held accountable for the scandal.

Baby formula tainted with the chemical melamine, which makes the protein content of the milk appearing higher than it actually is, has so far killed four babies and left more than 6,200 infants to develop kidney stones.

Dairy giant Sanlu based in the northern Hebei provincial capital of Shijiazhuang was the first company exposed in the scandal.


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