Milk powder factory blamed for poisonings has licence revoked

PUBLISHED : Monday, 14 June, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 14 June, 2004, 12:00am

General manager is sacked and firm is fined 200,000 yuan

The factory that produced the milk powder blamed for poisoning more than 150 children in Guizhou province recently has had its licence revoked.

Officials in Guiyang city also dismissed the general manager of the Guiyang Sanlian Milk Company - which operated the factory - and fined the firm 200,000 yuan, Xinhua reported yesterday.

The manager was not identified.

The report also said the Guiyang Health Bureau had ordered an urgent recall of 9,100 packages of Shanhua brand milk powder.

More than 70 children attending two kindergartens in Guiyang's Wudang district experienced vomiting, diarrhoea and fever after drinking milk made with the powder on June 3.

Last Thursday, 84 children from another kindergarten in Guiyang's Pingba county suffered the same symptoms after consuming the same brand of milk powder.

Xinhua reported that health officials had discovered the milk powder contained the golden staphylococcus bacteria, which can cause heart failure and death, particularly in children and the elderly.

Law enforcement officials and judicial authorities would be called to assist in the investigation, the report said.

The Guiyang poisonings were the latest in a series of scandals related to milk powder to emerge on the mainland in recent months.

In April, at least 12 infants died of malnutrition in Fuyang city, Anhui province , after consuming substandard milk powder, while another 171 were left malnourished.

Prosecutors in Fuyang have so far detained 45 people and arrested five suspects.

A further investigation found that at least 45 brands of milk powder produced in 141 factories across the nation did not meet national health and nutrition standards.