China dairy industry whistle-blower dies after assault

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 22 November, 2012, 6:40pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 22 November, 2012, 6:53pm

China’s most renowned whistle-blower on tainted dairy products has died – ten days after he was seriously injured during an assault, Xinhua reported on Thursday.

Jiang Weisuo died at aged 44 after he fell into a coma after the assault on November 12th in a hospital in Shaanxi province. Jiang was assaulted and critically injured on November 2 after he attended his meeting with his distributors at his dairy company, Xinhua reported.

Xian police have detained a suspect, but refused to disclose more details about the investigation. But police refuted rumours circulating on the internet which said the attack on Jiang was in retaliation of his efforts to strike out at fake or toxic dairy products in China.

Jiang earned his reputation when his report “Diary Industry in Western China is Almost Doomed” in 2006 revealed common adulteration practices throughout the dairy industry and the plight of dairy workers in China.

As a dairy entrepreneur himself, Jiang displayed courage reporting to local authorities a number of illegal adulteration practices in surrounding businesses, Xinhua said. He was even interview by CCTV, China’s largest television network, to report on the severe situation of dairy industry in China.

Jiang opened his own company – Jiang Weisuo Dairy – in 2008 and promoted the company’s “trusted” goat milk products ever since, the company said on its website. It now has over 300 franchises in over a dozen provinces

In 2008, a scandal in which milk was laced with melamine lead to the deaths of at least six infants and sickened 39,900 others in China.