September 11, 2008

More Babies Across China Suffer From Kidney Stones, Fake Milk Powder Suspected

More babies across China suffer from kidney stones, fake milk powder suspected

BEIJING, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) -- An unknown number of infants in at least seven provinces and regions across China have suffered from kidney stones while doctors and parents suspected it could be a result of drinking fake milk powder of the same brand, according to media reports on Thursday.

The new findings were reported after Xinhua broke out the news Wednesday that 14 cases of the same kind appeared in northwestern Gansu Province.

The Modern Express, a newspaper based in the eastern Jiangsu Province and affiliated with Xinhua, said similar cases were found in Jiangsu and the northwestern Ningxia, Shaanxi and Gansu, while the Oriental Morning Post based in Shanghai said that infants in the eastern Shandong and Anhui provinces and Hunan in central China were also inflicted.

No officials figures are available at this moment on how many babies in the country have been affected.

The cases of kidney stones among infants hit the headlines across China on Thursday, after Gansu reported at least 14 such cased earlier this week.

Health officials in Gansu Province said they were investigating the baby milk powder with the same brandname Sanlu.

Sanlu Group, a leading dairy products company in the country, said that the products may be fake and it had sent people to Gansu to conduct its own investigation, a company spokesman with the surname Zhang told Xinhua.

Parents of the affected babies, mostly located in remote and poor rural areas, have bought the milk powder at much cheaper prices than usual.

The No.1 Hospital of The People's Liberation Army (PLA), in Gansu provincial capital Lanzhou, received the first case on June 28, which was followed by another 13 cases later on.

However, at least three other hospitals, including the Gansu Provincial People's Hospital, the No.1 and No.2 Hospitals affiliated to Lanzhou University confirmed they had received similar cases in the past two months.

Doctors of these hospitals had urged local authorities to step up investigations and take possible measures to prevent similar cases.

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