More Melamine Poisoned Chinese Food: Hundreds, Maybe Thousands Of Babies Seriously Ill – Deaths Starting

Why Take The Chance With Food From China?

Not Worth It: Why Take The Chance With Food From China?

UPDATE:

– Product On Walmart Shelves!!!

– China Knew Since August 8, 2008 But Did Not Issue Recall For A Month!!!

– NEW STORY BREAKING: Pesticide Tainted Rice From China Consumed In Japan

Dr. David Estwick, Barbados Health Minister

Dr. David Estwick, Barbados Health Minister

Questions For Health Minister Estwick:

This Product Kills Children…

– Are There Any Milk Products Or By-products From China In Barbados Now?

– Have Any China Milk Products Been Imported To Barbados At Any Time?

– What Do You Intend To Do To Protect Bajans From The Continuing Threat From Contaminated Food & Drugs From China?

How many worldwide incidents of contaminated food from the People’s Republic of China does Barbados Minister of Health Dr. David Estwick need before he actually does something to ensure the safety of Bajans?

Barbados Government Should Ban Food Imports From China

News of the latest incident of melamine-poisoned China food products is just starting to break, and it looks like thousands of babies have been harmed by poisoned baby formula and milk powder. Melamine is a chemical used in plastics that was at the centre of a US recall of pet foods containing Chinese-made additives last year. One story by the Associated Press says that Chinese authorities and manufacturers knew about the contamination for many weeks and said nothing while babies died.

Reports say the contaminated baby formula and milk powder has been distributed and might even be on the shelves in Britain and the United States. Although some of the contaminated Chinese brands are known, what is not yet clear is whether any of the contaminated ingredients were shipped abroad to be used by manufacturers outside of China. (Breaking Sept 13/08 09:03am Bridgetown: Some bulk product was shipped abroad to Taiwan – from there, no one knows. So it looks like the original “assurance” from the Chinese Government that no contaminated bulk product was exported was false. No surprise there.)

We probably don’t know even the half of it and neither does Barbados Health Minister Estwick. And that is the key: Barbados Health Minister Estwick doesn’t know any more about this than does anyone else. The Chinese government certainly didn’t alert anybody about this latest incident, and even then they went into a mode of denial instead of immediately alerting the worldwide community so people could stop the harm.

“Made In China” Means “This Could Be Poison”

Let’s review what we have learned in the last few years about hazardous food, drug and manufactured products from China…

1/ China has a long history of scandals and incidents involving tainted food and pharmaceuticals. Likewise, hardly a week goes by that we don’t see another story of children’s toys or baby bibs containing high levels of lead or other deadly substances.

2/ The problem is not confined to products that are clearly marked as being “Made in China” as contaminated raw ingredients are often shipped in bulk to manufacturers on other continents including in North America and Europe.

3/ When another story breaks, the Chinese authorities exhibit a standard pattern of response that is slowly and reluctantly escalated as follows…

a/ Concealment of the problem by manufacturers, then government.

b/ Denial by government.

c/ Acknowledgment by government that there was a minor problem that was only local in scope.

d/ Where there are many deaths or extensive foreign news coverage, government makes a huge show of product recalls and announces an investigation. New inspection methods and routines are also announced.

e/ A “guilty” manufacturer or plant manager is quickly found, arrested and blamed for the event. He is usually executed within months, allowing the government to say “There. Fixed that. No more problem with contaminated food.”

f/ Everything goes back to normal until a month later when the next contaminated food or other health-related scandal erupts.

This is the standard pattern that we continue to see from China even though the incidents of contaminated food and drugs have risen dramatically in the last decade.

It is obvious that China lacks sufficient regulations and effective controls to ensure that their foods, drugs and other products are not hazardous. There is obviously a “wild west” atmosphere in Chinese manufacturing that their government has not been able to stop.

There is a price to be paid for cheap food from China and that price is paid by consumers all over the world – in deaths, illnesses and ruined health.

Barbados Minister of Health Dr. David Estwick knows that our country lacks the resources to test all shipments of human-consumables from China. Our population is at significant risk from dangerous and substandard made in China’s “wild west, anything goes” manufacturing environment.

In the absence of real changes in the quality of food and drugs from China, and considering our lack of ability to test products, and China’s history of cover-ups – Barbados should ban the importation of food and drugs from China, or products that were made with bulk ingredients from China.

Further Reading

Sept 13 2008 11:29 AM Bridgetown – AP: Chinese dairy knew milk fault weeks before recall

Sept 13 2008 12:00PM BST – Telegraph UK: Baby formula recall in China after infant death

Sept 13, 2008 6:49 AM (ET) – AP News (and photo above): 432 Babies Sick From Chinese Tainted Milk Product

Friday, 12 September 2008 07:47 UK – BBC News: China to punish baby milk makers

Sept 12, 2008 – (Walmart & August 8th Reference) Bloomberg: China Says Sanlu Milk Likely Contaminated by Melamine (Update1)

35 Comments

Filed under Agriculture, Barbados, China, Environment, Health, Human Rights, Science

35 responses to “More Melamine Poisoned Chinese Food: Hundreds, Maybe Thousands Of Babies Seriously Ill – Deaths Starting

  1. Hants

    BFP it is up to the people of Barbados whether they buy cheap Chinese food or not.

    Prehaps we could consider buying local vegetables,fruit,fish and meat.

    You are correct that raw materials are shipped to other countries and labeled according to the content rules of that country.

    In Canada it is 50%.

  2. Hants

    “The truth is, foods marked ‘Product of Canada’ or ‘Made in Canada’ actually may not be very Canadian at all,” he said. “Our new guidelines are designed to redefine Canadian food content labels to better reflect the true origins of products in today’s global marketplace.

    “A bottle of apple juice could have a ‘made in Canada’ label in it and be made from apples grown in China.”

    Read the labels and use the internet to get information about imported food.

  3. .65

    Hants says “BFP it is up to the people of Barbados whether they buy cheap Chinese food or not.”

    Surely you are not saying that governments do not have a duty to ensure that the food, drugs and water is safe? You can’t be seriously suggesting that poisoned imported food and drugs being sold in our country is not a government responsibility?

  4. dominoes

    How can barbados ban food from china when china spends so much money behind a certain party in election, soon chinese coming to build the st.john clinic and build some thing where the empire cenema was.

  5. The scout

    There are a sizable number of chinese restaurants springing up all over Barbados. Is the Min of Health monitoring the raw products in these restaurants? No only milk but milk products and all other types of meat used.

  6. Hants

    @ .65

    Yes it is the Government agencies whose duty it is to protect the food supply.

    However it is my duty to use the MY intelligence to protect MYSELF and my family and friends where possible.

    We can do a little research and find enough information to make reasonably safe choices about what we consume.

    We can also reduce the amount of prepared products we use.

    Ask not what the government can do for you but do what you can for yourself.

  7. PiedPiper

    Hants: Recently the government changed the laws as they apply to fodd products. I don’t know when this will become mandatory but food manufacturers will now have to specify, on labels, ingredients that are not grown or manufactured in Canada.
    Regardless, I make a point of NEVER purchasing anything made in China, not only because of safety and health concerns but also because of the enormous number of jobs being lost here due to companies moving their operations to China to take advantage of the cheap labour and lax safety regulations.

  8. Pingback: » Chinese Firm probed over killer baby milk powder Keltruth Corp.: News Blog of Keltruth Corp. - Miami, Florida, USA.

  9. Crusty

    Why you all picking on China? Would the content of this article be any different if ‘China’ was replaced by ‘U.S.A’ or ‘Great Britain’ ?

    Remember the million pounds of contaminated ground beef, or the use of bisphenol A in
    food grade plastics, or feeding prion infected brain/spinal cord proteins to other cows as a food supplement (Mad cow disease).

    *****

    BFP says,

    Good Question Crusty,

    Why are we so concerned about China’s food products as opposed to the USA? In short…

    1/ Frequency of similar situations. This melamine contamination of food products in China has been going on for a decade that we know of.
    2/ Pitiful response of the Chinese government.
    3/ Lack of confidence in the ability of the Chinese government to prevent a recurrence.

    It is a free-for-all over in China insofar as standards are concerned. The Communist Culture imposed upon the Chinese culture is also a factor in our lack of trust.

    So… how about it… Were any Chinese milk products ever imported into Barbados at any time? What IF ANYTHING is the Health Minister doing to protect our children?

  10. Hants

    @ PiedPiper

    New laws will inform those of us who read labels.

    Canada will continue to import chinese products and resell them with Canadian Brand names.

    We have to read labels and make decisions for ourselves.

    Bajans are more fortunate than some of us up North because there is an abundnce of local crops available in the markets and from hawkers in Bridgetown.

    Some bajans prefer branded processed food and the “ambiance” of an airconditioned supermarket so “produced in china” does not matter to them.

  11. Jason

    I want Doctor Estwick to answer BFP’s questions NOW because I am asking the same questions. Is my daughter’s formula contaminated? Why isn’t this story in the Nation or on CBC??????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  12. Waterboy

    Jason
    September 13, 2008 at 8:37 pm
    I want Doctor Estwick to answer BFP’s questions NOW because I am asking the same questions. Is my daughter’s formula contaminated? Why isn’t this story in the Nation or on CBC??????????????????????????????????????????????????????
    —————————————————————
    @Jason

    Could it be because all the local journalists went on a free junket to China courtesy of the chinese government prior to the Olympics?

    They wouldn’t want to mess up the possibility of more visits.

  13. Sargeant

    Hants/Pied Piper

    I think the product labeling law in Canada will be effective Jan.1st, 2009. At present if 51% of the production costs originate in Canada then that product can be labeled “Product of Canada” e.g. if water is added to orange concentrate and packaged in Canada then that product can be labeled “Product of Canada” and as far as I know oranges are not grown in Canada maybe we have a few lemons but they are on Parliament Hill (lol).

    When the product labeling law goes into effect there may still be some concern since the package may state “ Made in Canada from imported ingredients”, however if you don’t know where those ingredients were imported from you may be none the wiser. Remember the case of the contaminated wheat gluten which caused so much upset a few months ago? In this latest example the four major companies in Canada which manufacture baby formula have advised the C’dian Govt. that they don’t use products from China in their products.

    It is not so simple to ban products made with Chinese ingredients as the grocery shelves may be empty, but the EU’s approach is to certify individual Chinese companies as safe for exports rather than the North American risk based approach which is to target imports from companies which have been known to be problematic.

    My advice “caveat emptor”

  14. PiedPiper

    Crusty: The difference is this, I think. Chinese companies have knowingly and without regard for public safety introduced ingredients into their product for the sole purpose of increasing their profit margins.
    Contamination of meat products in the U.S. and Canada, usually occurr due to human error and a slip in stringent hygiene protocols.
    Bisphenol A was not added to plastic with the knowledge, 25 years later, that it is hazardous to
    human health. The same goes for introducing meat by products into animal feed. We live and we learn.
    The Chinese companies pharmaceutical and food companies knew exactly what they were doing with little or no regard for the consequences.

  15. Sargeant

    • Crusty asks: Why you all picking on China? Would the content of this article be any different if ‘China’ was replaced by ‘U.S.A’ or ‘Great Britain’ ?
    Remember the million pounds of contaminated ground beef, or the use of bisphenol A in
    food grade plastics, or feeding prion infected brain/spinal cord proteins to other cows as a food supplement (Mad cow disease).
    **************************************************

    Maybe BFP has a bee up its bonnet when it comes to China, but the examples you cited were as a result of bad science and improper food handling in the case of contaminated beef. But, how does Melamine get into baby formula? How does Dietheline Glycol (anti freeze) get into cough syrup? Melamine is a chemical compound used in a number of commercial and industrial applications; it is not to be used as a food ingredient. As for Dietheline Glycol please read the attached article courtesy of New York Times

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/06/world/americas/06poison.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

  16. Red Lake Lassie

    Nothing on the CBC tonight. Nothing in the newspapers. This story is everywhere BBC, CNN, Sky News for three days that I can find. Did any of this contaminated food reach Barbados?

  17. Pingback: Barbados News Media Fails To Cover Major China Story: Tainted Food Deaths « Barbados Free Press

  18. PiedPiper

    Not being familiar with baby formula and whether it comes in a powdered form, I would love somebody in Barbados to go to the supermarkets and check some baby formula out and get back to us.

  19. Hants

    Jason
    September 13, 2008 at 8:37 pm
    I want Doctor Estwick to answer BFP’s questions NOW because I am asking the same questions. Is my daughter’s formula contaminated?”

    Jason you are on the Internet.Read the label on you daughter’s formula and find out for yourself.

    Invest some of your “net” time getting information to help you protect your family.

  20. J

    Time that we give our mothers up to a year’s maternity leave so that they do not have to feed their babies imported nastiness.

    Since 1967 we have been giving mothers 12 weeks maternity leave. Much has changed since 1967 but this has not changed.

    I think that our mothers deserve better.

    And yet we seem surprised that our rate of asthma is rising.

  21. Jason

    We used different brands and I don’t know if they bought raw milk powder from China. This is not something an individual can be sure of. That’s why we have a government

  22. Jason

    add to that “That’s why we have a government and a doctor as Health Minister.”

  23. J

    Maybe Barbados National Standards Institute can do some spot tests.

  24. Hants

    @ Jason

    Are you going to continue to feed your daughter questionable formula while you wait for word from Government?

    Stop wasting time on BFP and research the internet for answers. Give us the names of the Brands and the BFP family will help you.

    Your daughter is your responsibility.

  25. The scout

    Lots of powdered milk is used in Barbados and the final product states “producted in Barbados” but it doesn’t state where the raw materials come from. Most of the flavored milk producted in this country is made form powdered milk.The Min of Health needs to put the bajan public at ease by informing us on these latest developments or we leave any suspect items on the shelf

  26. Checkin-out

    BFP;

    Another poorly researched article that seeks to put a made-up Barbados face to a highly trumpeted news story from the USA or Developed countries with a total lack of local facts. Methinks you are up to your usual tricks of massaging a story that probably has little local relevance to maximise international internet hits.

    Do some research and tell us what melamine is. What is its real toxicity. Its LD50. How much of it a baby would have to ingest to get sick. How it got into baby food formula. What products are likely to have been imported into Barbados. What is the possibility that this story is another arrow in the quiver of geo-politics that seeks to damage the US’ enemies.

    Give us some information on the above and then write another story

    ***************************

    BFP says,

    Golly…! I guess we should have waited to report the story until …. until what?

    ohhhhhh…. I get it… You’re one of the reporters who took the free trip to China in exchange for never writing anything bad about China. You’re probably the same editor that never mentions Tienanmen Square on the anniversary. Every year at that time, the Chinese come around with a donation of library books and you do up that story instead of reminding folks how the tanks ran over a bunch of students.

    You’re probably the same journalist who covered the Olympics this year and said “Don’t make it political” – but failed to mention the 100 or so athletes that China banned from competing because of their politics or religion.

    Yup… got your number alright.

  27. Red Lake Lassie

    Checkin-out must be on drugs or maybe injested too much melamine himself!

    The China Daily News and other Chinese media are reporting the story just like BFP says. Does Checkin-out think BFP made this up?

    Check-in you are an idiot.

    Read this.

    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/bizchina/2008-09/14/content_7025753.htm

    or this.

    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2008-09/11/content_7020383.htm

  28. Checkin-out

    Bfp and Red Lake Lassie.

    It isn’t the melamine story of itself.

    It is the tenuous links that bfp tries to draw re. a barbados connection without any facts at all and in the process suggesting quite blatantly that certain persons are culpable in a case that has no facts related to Barbados so far.

    I’m not saying that some of the melamine laced baby foods might not have got to Barbados but please get the facts first before jumping in. Report the story as fully as possible and from as many angles as possible. Don’t let your bias for earning sensational internet hits show so clearly.

    And no. I have and have had absolutely nothing to do with China, besides eating chinese food occasionally in several places outside China.

  29. Fool me once

    Checkin-out continues to not see what is going on here. If the local papers and TV had told us all about it and we heard both sides fine. But nothing of the sort till BFP tells us it is big news everywhere in the world.

    Easy to see here in BIM we too stupid to be able to read or think. And if we not being told what might kill our babies nothing else is going to be told to us either. Our usual news people have now reached the bottom of the sewer rather to protect some big up than an innocent life when there is no need for it.

  30. Fool me twice, then thrice

    The tainted dog food, the tainted toys… isn’t there enough warning signs for American industries to end relations with such heartless Chinese manufacturers? If they haven’t the slightest concern of the wellbeing of their own kind and their children, would they have more concern of the wellbeing of us “filthy, rich foreign demons” in their minds? Or are we to them merely revenue-generating livestock, who doesn’t deserve even the most rotten, smelliest chop-suey?

    NOW it’s time to take work back to the states!

  31. Pingback: China In Crisis: Tainted Milk Toll Skyrockets - Four Children Dead, Thousands Seriously Ill - 22 Milk Producers Involved - Many Countries Banning China Milk Products « Barbados Free Press

  32. Checkin-out

    Hi BFP et al.

    I was wrong.

    There is indeed serious evidence of deliberate contamination of baby foods etc. in China.

  33. BFP

    Hi Checkin-out

    That is what we love about the blogs. We can be persuaded (as we often are here at BFP) to see things in a different way.

    I also think that part of the beauty of the blogs is that we can move so fast with the news – way ahead of traditional news media. Yes, it is a double-edged sword because sometimes we make mistakes – but those mistakes can be corrected publicly and left up for all to see. (Which is far different than what happens when a newspaper or tv station reports in error!)

    Thanks for contributing to the BFP community. We hope you disagree with us in the future too, because it makes us work harder to be more accurate. Without our readers, we would get fat, drunk and lazy instead of just drunk!

    🙂

  34. Checkin-out

    Hi BFP

    I have contributed to BFP a few times because I see several articles here that have the ring of truth but I also see some that appear to be just reaching out for further information while perhaps falsely condemning some individuals without due process.

    I think there is great promise for bfp.

    I have seen you admit to being wrong in a few cases and there are very few of us who can do that.

    I will continue to point out areas where I think you are overdoing it and I expect I will make mistakes myself from time to time.