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Official commits suicide for milk powder scandal
Updated: 2004-06-22 13:08

Weng Huaming, director general of Fuding Quality Supervision and Quarantine Bureau, east China's Fujian Province, committed suicide June 20 due to public pressure of "milk powder" scandal.

One of his relatives said, high pressure from the public following the "poisonous milk powder" scandal created much depression to Weng.

"Weng was already 56 and will retire soon, the suspension of his duties for investigation left him very worried about his reputation," one staff of Weng's bureau said.

They said Weng would not commit suicide if the "poisonous milk powder" scandal had never broken out. In the country, over a dozen babies have died after being fed with such inferior milk powder, and hundreds suffer from the "big head" disease.

Local people believe that Fuding quality supervision bureau should bear the responsibility when the production quality of these factories appear to have so many problems.

Fuding, together with Taishun and Cangnan in Wenzhou of Zhejiang Province, are considered to be the "silver triangle" of the inferior milk powder producers. In Fuding, there are 11 dairy product factories, and most of them are suspected of producing milk powder harmful to the health of babies.

These factories are usually located at some rented houses and practice small-scale production with tousy mills and sealing facilities. They usually escape from quality inspection by working at night only and shipping out the products right after production.

However, these "underground" factories possess all kinds of legal licenses and surprisingly, one of these factories claims that it occupies 3,000 square metres, owns a high-tech production line and produces 7,200 tons of dairy products per annum, with an investment of 5.5 million yuan in promotion pamphlets and reports obtainable in local commercial departments.

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