It now not just melamine in baby formula from one company sold in three provinces, but in dairy products nationwide, and beyond. Chinese dairy products are being pulled off shelves in Hong Kong and Japan. Malaysia and Singapore have banned Chinese milk imports.
At home, consumer outrage is growing. Beijing has ordered free medical treatment for any baby sickened by tainted formula, and hotlines for worried parents have been set up in eight provinces, Xinhua reports. Central government has also extended testing of dairy products and recalls, and promised exemplary punishments for company executive and officials found culpable.
The death toll now stands at four infants, with dozens of babies still in serious condition among the more than 6,200 stricken with kidney stones after consuming tainted formula.
Nearly 10% of milk and drinking yoghurt samples from three leading dairy companies contained melamine, according to the General Administration of Quality Supervision Inspection. None of which will help shore up public trust at home or abroad already shaken by a series of food scares in recent years involving eggs, pork and seafood.