Chinese Recall Milk as Tainting Scandal Spreads

Melamine found in 10% of milk from top dairies; massive recalls begin
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 19, 2008 10:55 AM CDT
In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, workers with Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group Co., Ltd. conduct melamine tests on the milk samples in Hohhot.   (AP Photo/Xinhua, Ren Junchuan)
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(Newser) – Milk from some of China's biggest dairies has been found to contain poisonous melamine, prompting authorities to clear shelves of dairy products, in addition to the earlier recall of tainted infant formula, the BBC reports. A watchdog group found the banned chemical in 10% of samples from three dairies, including the two largest. Milk suppliers are suspected of diluting milk and then adding melamine to make the protein content appear higher.

The industrial chemical, normally used in plastics, was discovered in milk powder that sickened 6,000 infants and killed at least four. No illnesses have been reported from drinking tainted liquid milk. Foreign importers of milk products have pledged not to take advantage of the huge recalls by raising prices.