CHINA> Regional
Hebei to destroy all tainted dairy products
By Wang Qian (China Daily)
Updated: 2008-10-11 08:55

The Hebei provincial government has decided to destroy all tainted dairy products before Oct 20, Xinhua News Agency reported on Friday.

"All contaminated milk products must be reported to the provincial government by Friday," an official surnamed Geng in the Hebei administration for industry and commerce said, adding that the administration had destroyed some of the contaminated milk on the market before Oct 4.

"The rest will be destroyed under the supervision of the Hebei bureau of environment protection in order to avoid pollution," Geng said.

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 Milk quality key issue for worried consumers

The qualified dairy enterprises will sign quality guarantee agreements after Oct 20.

The Ministry of Health this week also issued new limits on melamine levels in dairy products, with a maximum of 2.5 mg per kg allowed for liquid milk.

Over 53,000 children nationwide were affected with urinary tract problems, including kidney stones, and at least four infants died after drinking baby formula tainted with melamine, a toxic chemical added to milk to falsely increase its protein levels.

So far, 27 people have been arrested in connection with the milk scandal, which has raised awareness of children's renal health.

"Renal health is a serious problem in China. More than two children in every 300 aged between two and 14 suffer from kidney problems. Four out of every 100 of these will develop chronic renal failure," said Guo Huawei, head of Beijing Jingdong Zhongmei hospital.

The hospital has promised to cut the medical fees of children with kidney problems by 25 percent.

The hospital and Hebei Women's Federation have launched a program to help 100 poor children with renal disorders in Hebei province. Each youngster will receive 10,000 yuan ($1,470) to help cover treatment costs.

"So far, nine children have received treatment in our hospital," said Lin Changxiu, director of its medical management department.

Meanwhile a special fund for children who are affected by kidney problems has been set up by Hebei Children's Foundation to help more youngsters in need.