The Chinese authorities have been hurriedly inspecting factories across China since the Shijiazhuang-based Sanlu company, which supplies nearly a fifth of China's market with baby formula, was exposed just over a week ago knowingly selling tainted milk.
Twenty-two more Chinese companies have been discovered with melamine-tainted powdered milk products since the story broke, according to information from the China General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.
The contaminated milk has caused the death of three babies, more than 6000 infants have become ill, and more than 150 children have developed serious kidney problems, according to reports from officials.
Many famous domestic powdered and fresh milk producers are among the 23 companies, who were found selling melamine-contaminated products during the recent inspections.
To make matters worse, the Sanlu company had received complaints and concerns about the quality of its powdered milk back in March, but the poisonous milk was not recalled until September 11.
The tainted powdered milk is the latest in a line of contaminated products coming from apparently unethical Chinese producers.
January, 2008, Poisonous Dumplings in Japan
Frozen Chinese dumplings from Tianyang Food Processing Plant poisoned 10 people in Chiba and Hyogo in Japan at the end of January.
Japan’s National Police Agency and China’s Police Department launched investigations in to the poisonings, but both sides denied that the pesticide was mixed into the dumplings in their country. The truth of the incident remains unclear.
February, 2007, Lipsticks Containing Sudan Red
The China General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine found a carcinogenic dye, called Sudan red, in lipstick in February last year.
Sudan red is a yellowish-red colored lysochrome azo dye that can cause contact dermatitis.
Authorities suspect that some of the contaminated lipstick might have been exported to Hong Kong.
March, 2007, Poisonous Animal Food in United States
Up to 85000 cats and dogs in the US died in early 2007 after eating pet food contaminated by melamine.
The US Food and Drug Administration found that the deaths were caused by melamine in gluten products from China.
Chinese merchants had purposely mixed melamine in wheat bran to increase its nitrogen content. Later, melamine was also found in pig, chicken and fish food across the US.
May, 2007, Poisonous Toothpaste and Cough Syrup in Panama
US media widely reported at of end of April last year the deaths of about 365 people died in Panama after after taking cough syrup from China.
The cough syrup contained false glycerin, and in 100 of the cases autopsies revealed the poison as the cause of death. [caption id=”attachment_73886″ align=”alignleft” width=”320″ caption=”On October 13, 2006, an egg peddler at a roadside in Hetian City in Xinjiang Province attempts to attract customers by showing the egg yolk