Filed under: Business + Politics, Food + Health, Justice + Outreach, Society + Media | Tags: Chinese government, Geng Jinping, melamine, milk scandal, regulations, Zhang Yujun
In January, a Chinese court sentenced two men to death for their roles in the melamine milk scandal. The tainted milk is responsible for ailing 300,000 people and killing at least six children. Zhang Yujun, 40, is one of the men sentenced to die for making over 600 tons of the powder used to raise the protein content of diluted milk. The affected milk had been watered down in an effort to increase product and profits. Melamine was then added because the nitrogen content simulates protein in nutritional testing. Ingestion of the industrial compound can cause kidney stones or kidney failure in large doses. Melamine is typically used to produce plastics and fertilizers. The second man sentenced to die, Geng Jinping, is responsible for producing and selling toxic food.
I take issue with this situation for the following reasons: I believe these sentences were handed out in an attempt by the Chinese government to save face and appear that they are handling the situation properly. If Chinese officials were interested in quality control and food regulation this disaster would have been averted. The simple truth is monitoring manufacturers costs money, money they rather not invest in oversight. In China’s race to the top of the industrialized world they have let proper production practices fall by the way side. The damage caused by their lack of regulation has not only cost lives, but trust. I believe that they are their own worst enemy and are facilitating their own economic demise. Unless the Chinese government implements laws and regulations to manage their industries, people around the world will continue to reduce their consumption of Chinese products. The real tragedy is that so many people had to die in order to spur much needed consumer awareness.
8 Comments so far
Leave a comment