China arrests 96 people for using tainted milk powder

Last Updated: Fri, Jan 14, 2011 05:30 hrs

Chinese Police have arrested 96 people for illegally using leftover powder from the 2008's melamine-tainted milk scandal to produce dairy products or sell such products since July.

The 96 were caught in the latest bid to root out the melamine-tainted dairy products that killed six babies and caused kidney problems for another 300,000 children across the country in 2008, the State Council's Food Safety Commission said on Thursday.

Among the detained, 17 have been convicted, including two people sentenced to life in prison. Thirty-eight people were awaiting trial and 41 others under investigation in police custody; The China Daily quoted the statement, as saying.

In July last year, Dongyuan milk powder, produced in Northwest China's Qinghai province, was found to contain excessive levels of melamine, a toxic chemical normally used in the manufacture of plastics, which triggered the nationwide crackdown.

The chemical was added to watered-down milk to boost protein readings in quality checks.

By the end of last year, about 2,132 tons of melamine-tainted milk powder had been seized in the latest crackdown, all left over from the 2008 scandal, the statement said. (ANI)