CHINA—Over 200 children, attending the TiYi Kindergarten in eastern China’s Cixi City in Zhejiang Province, were diagnosed with enlarged intestinal lymph nodes. Parents believe the problem is the poor hygiene standards and unsuitable cooking oil used in the kindergarten.
The Cixi City TiYi kindergarten had a good reputation. The tuition is around 4,000 yuan (approximately US$584) a semester. A strike by the teachers led to the discovery of unsatisfactory health standards.
TiYi teachers went on strike, on October 7, wanting better salaries and benefits. On that day, when none of the teachers could be found, some parents went searching; on entering the cafeteria they saw the low-grade cooking oil.
Palm oil, number 41,was being used as cooking oil by the kindergarten. This palm oil is classified as an industrial oil for soap manufacturing. A report, by the Zhejiang Inspection Center for Cereals, Oils & Foodstuffs, on October 11, confirmed this. At the same time, the local authorities issued a contradictory statement that the oil met the criteria of a cooking oil.
Parents also found the vegetables were dirty. The refrigerator and cabinets were filled with cockroaches and insects. The milk powder was of an unknown name brand.
The whole kitchen was infested with butterflies, cockroaches, and mosquitoes. Parents were furious upon finding the food supplied by the school was of such poor quality.
“The parents tried to find out why there was no teacher around. Some parents went into the cafeteria and found the abnormal and cloudy cooking oil.” said one parent surnamed Chen.
According to Chen, more than 200 children have since been diagnosed with enlarged intestinal lymph nodes; tesing was done using a B scan Ultrasonic diagnosis.
Mr. Chen told The Epoch Times, “The kids often came home complaining about a stomach ache. Previously, we thought it was just an individual case. However, after the incident, parents met and shared information and realized that all the kids had been coming home with a stomach ache and constipation.”
“After the kids were taken to the hospital, it was revealed that all our children suffered from the same illness—enlarged intestinal lymph nodes. There are more than 200 TiYi kindegarten children with the same diagnosis at this point.”
Neither the Cixi City authorities nor the kindergarten directors have responded. The parents began to take their children to medical centers out of town. Those medical reports confirmed the same diagnosis.
Around 400 parents protested at the TiYi kindegarten, on October 7. The owner of the kindergarten did not show up. The government officials were not able to provide a reasonable resolution either.
On October 8, many parents protested at City Hall, because the Board of Education had failed to respond.
Several parents broke the classroom glass while holding onto their youngster’s medical reports. Later that day they went to the City Hall and demanded a resolution from the authorities. However, no one from the City Hall showed up and no report was published in the provincial news media.
A local website forum on the matter had also been disrupted. Not until the evening of October 8, did the City’s chief official finally meet with several parent representatives.
The Epoch Times reporter contacted the local Health Bureau, Letters and Petitions Department, and Cixi City Health Council, respectively. However, the conversation was always the same, the reporter was referred to a different department one after another.