September 23, 2008

China’s Food Safety Chief Steps Down

The head of China's food safety watchdog resigned Monday for failing to stop the widespread contamination of baby formula as the number of children sickened soared to nearly 53,000, including four infants who have died. Nearly 13,000 remain hospitalized, with 104 in serious condition.

- The Associated Press


Investigators also revealed that China's biggest producer of powdered milk, Sanlu Group Co., had received complaints as early as December 2007 linking its infant formula to illnesses in babies.


In a reflection of the breakdown in supervision of the dairy industry, Sanlu and several other leading companies had been given inspection-free status by the food safety watchdog.

That privilege has since been rescinded. The World Health Organization on Monday urged closer monitoring.

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