Sanlu Group

Taiwanese companies seek compensation from mainland dairies

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 24 January, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 24 January, 2009, 12:00am


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Twelve Taiwanese companies will seek NT$700 million (HK$162 million) from two mainland dairies involved in the tainted milk scandal.

One company is seeking compensation from Sanlu Group, which has filed for bankruptcy, the Central News Agency quoted a spokesman for Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council as saying on Thursday. The rest will sue a Shandong dairy that produced tainted milk cream, the agency said.

A court in Shijiazhuang , Hebei , sentenced former Sanlu Group chairwoman Tian Wenhua to life in prison and two individual milk suppliers to death on Thursday over tainted milk.

Around 1,000 bags of powdered milk sold by Sanlu to Taiwan last June were found to contain melamine, a chemical used to make plastics that was added to watered-down milk to fool protein-content tests. The milk powder was used by food manufacturers to produce food items for public consumption.

The scandal prompted Taiwanese authorities to launch a sweeping inspection of milk powders and related food items, removing more than 160 products from shops. The authorities also insisted all products be melamine-free, although most other jurisdictions have set levels of melamine content that they consider acceptable.

A two-year-old boy who consumed milk powder made by Sanlu had a small kidney stone. Four other kindergarten children who had consumed tainted-milk powder were diagnosed with kidney inflammation.

Beijing apologised to Taiwan yesterday for Sanlu's tainted milk products and promised to step up mainland inspections.

The Straits Exchange Foundation, the island's semi-official agency that deals with the mainland, wrote to its Beijing counterpart, the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait, early this month demanding assistance for companies that were affected.