Parents set to sue in soya milk poisoning case
( 2003-12-08 08:07) (China Daily)
Several dozen students are still seriously ill after a massive food poisoning accident two years ago in the city of Jilin, in Northeast China's Jilin Province, according to a report in Beijing Youth Daily yesterday.
In September 2001, a total of 6,362 students experienced fever, stomach cramps or vomiting two days after drinking soya milk produced by the Jilin Wanfang Scientific, Industrial and Trade Ltd Co.
Since then, some of the seriously ill students have been diagnosed with such problems as cerebral spasms, myocarditis, gastritis, hepatmegaly and splenomegaly, said the paper.
Three have been confirmed with leukemia, while experts say the normal incidence is one in 100,000.
All the sick students are from 12 primary and middle schools affiliated to the Jilin Chemical Group.
Parents of the affected students are preparing to initiate legal action against the involved schools and the local hygiene department.
The case is expected to go to court before the end of this month, said the paper.
Insiders said the original site of soybean company used to be a complex of chemical plants. So the parents believe that apart from bacteria, the soya milk drunk by their children was probably contaminated with heavy metals, insiders were quoted as saying by Beijing Youth Daily.
One of the school girls who drank the contaminated soya milk, Chang Ling, now 13 years old, has been diagnosed with myocarditis.
She said before the incident she was very healthy and seldom went to see doctors, but now she often faints and suffers from recurrent stomach ache.
She recalled that she used to be the monitor in her class and took the lead in drinking the soya bean milk which had an unusual taste.
The company, which provided the soya milk to students free, asking them to drink it on a trial basis, has stopped producing and marketing soya milk since the incident and the general manager has been sentenced to 15 years imprisonment.
But the parents said the organization in charge of quality supervision and inspection of Jilin City should also be partly blamed, since it failed to perform its duty.
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