China Kept Tainted Milk Scare Secret for Year

Public wasn't notified after melamine-laced products found
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 7, 2010 1:46 AM CST
Customers examine milk in a supermarket in Beijing. Six infants died after drinking tainted milk in 2008.   (AP Photo/Greg Baker)
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(Newser) – China took nearly a year to close down a Shanghai dairy after authorities found contaminated milk in the latest melamine scare, according to state media. An investigation was launched several months ago, but it was kept secret until last week after the Shanghai Panda dairy was shut down and three of its executives were arrested for selling tainted milk products, AP reports.

"The case was not allowed to be released to the public,'' said an official in the Shanghai prosecutor's office. The long delay in informing the pubic has raised new concerns about the effectiveness of the tough safety laws initiated after a melamine-tainted milk scandal in 2008 sickened hundreds of thousands of children and killed at least six. The toxic chemical is used illegally to fool food inspectors testing for protein levels. Some tainted products were also sold in the US.

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