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Archive for Wednesday, December 31, 2008

China dairy manager on trial for milk scandal

December 31, 2008

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— The former chairwoman of the dairy company at the heart of China’s tainted milk scandal went on trial today and could face the death penalty if convicted on charges of selling fake or substandard products.

Tian Wenhua, former board chairwoman and general manager of Sanlu Group Co., went on trial along with three other top executives in the scandal over infant formula contaminated with the industrial chemical melamine, the Xinhua News Agency said.

Melamine, commonly used to make plastics and fertilizer, has been blamed for the deaths of at least six children and sickening nearly 300,000 others.

Authorities say milk suppliers mixed the nitrogen-rich powder into raw milk in order to fool quality tests for protein. When ingested in large amounts, melamine can cause kidney stones and kidney failure.

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