Parents Of First Baby To Die Of Tainted Infant Formula Accept Compensation

The parents of the first child to die from ingesting melamine-tainted infant formula has accepted compensation from Sanlu Group, the dairy company at the heart of the scandal, their lawyers say. They have taken the 200,000 yuan ($29,000) death payout under the standardized compensation scheme announced last month by China’s dairy association and the 22 dairy companies involved.

The couple give up their right to further legal action. Not so other parents who say the compensation levels are too low, even though lawyers quoted by Xinhua say that death compensation in Gansu, where the couple live, is typically 40,000 yuan. Parents in Guangdong province launched a lawsuit against Sanlu and the China Dairy Industry Association in October demanding 900,000 yuan, but the Guangzhou court wouldn’t hear the case.

Xinhua also says that more than 3,000 families in Shijiazhuang, capital of Hebei province, where Sanlu is based, have accepted the compensation package, quoting local government officials. The squeeze has been put on parents to take the money regardless of their reservations.

“Some parents were reluctant to accept the compensation package at the beginning, but they were persuaded and have since changed their minds,” a spokesman of the Shijiazhuang government said.

Six babies died and 296,000 children were sickened by the tainted milk. At the start of  December, 861 children were still in hospital suffering from kidney stones or urinary problems. The health ministry has not updated the numbers since.

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Filed under Politics & Society, Product Safety

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