October 13,2008


China dairies issue public apology over milk scandal

Top managers of the country's three leading dairy companies - Mengniu, Yili and Bright Dairy - issued their first public apology Sunday ( October 13, 2008) for selling milk tainted with melamine, according to China Daily.
The executives appeared on a talk show programme shown on China's CCTV and admitted to "the problems and mistakes" of their firms.
Their apology came one month after the surfacing of the scandal involving tainted milk products from dairy giant Sanlu Group.
Sanlu was the first of several big Chinese dairies whose melamine-contaminated baby formula had sickened thousands of infants nationwide. 
Products from three dairy brands were also tested and found to be contaminated with melamine

The chemical could give an appearance of higher protein levels but is toxic to small children and infants.

Guo Benheng, CEO of Shanghai-based Bright Dairy, confessed that the scandal exposed problems such as loose quality supervision and lack of business ethics, which seriously affected consumer confidence in the industry.
Mengniu's marketing chief. Zhao Yuanhua said all companies should guarantee quality and safety, and build market confidence from scratch
The executives believed the scandal might have cost much more than the RMB 200 million loss by the companies, as reported by the press.
So far, more than 53,000 children across the country have been diagnosed with similar problems.
The latest tests by the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine showed that samples of 855 batches from 77 brands of liquid milk produced after Sept 14 did not contain melamine.
Meanwhile, China's authorities have arrested a man who made 600 tonnes of melamine-laced powder that was destined for the nation's milk supply, in the biggest bust of its kind, state press reported on Friday.
The official Xinhua news agency announced on Friday a dairy farmer in eastern Shandong province had been found with the 'biggest ever' amount of a protein powder laced with melamine.
The farmer had been producing the chemical between September last year and August, Xinhua reported.
Although he made the melamine powder in Shandong, Zhang's farm was in Hebei province, one of China's main dairy regions, which has been at the centre of the scandal.
Aside from arresting Zhang, police also caught eight people who bought the powder, Xinhua said.
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