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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 August, 2004, 09:53 GMT 10:53 UK
China jails fake milk sellers
By Louisa Lim
BBC, Beijing

Two Chinese men have been jailed for selling fake milk powder in the eastern Chinese province of Anhui.

Li Xindao, a shopkeeper, was sentenced to eight years in jail for selling sub-standard formula, while a second man was given a year-long sentence.

They were the first convictions for a scandal that caused a national outcry.

The government says 12 babies died from starvation after drinking the formula. Local press reports say as many as 50 babies died.

At least 47 people, including government officials, have been arrested in connection with the scandal.

Investigators uncovered more than 100 factories making bogus formula, consisting mostly of starch and water.

The milk had no nutritional value, so some of the babies who drank it died of starvation.

The emerging picture is of corrupt officials conniving with unscrupulous factory owners to continue selling the bogus powder, even though they had received complaints about it from parents of the infant victims.

The parents of a one-year-old baby who died are now suing the vendors who sold the milk powder.

The case highlights China's woeful food safety standards, and has triggered a stream of reports about other harmful foods, like fake soy sauce and vegetables pickled in industrial salt.

China 'fake milk' scandal deepens
22 Apr 04  |  Asia-Pacific
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20 Apr 04  |  Asia-Pacific
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08 Feb 04  |  Business


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