Friday, 26 September 2008

More on contaminated milk

On September 24, 2008, the UK supermarket chain Tesco pulled all White Rabbit Creamy Candy from their shelves "as a precaution" in response to the melamine-contamination reports. The the Hong Kong Centre for Food Safety issued an advisory on the product after it tested positive for melamine in their laboratories, with more than six times the legal limit for the chemical, around 180 ppm. Australia has issued a recall of the sweets, commonly sold at Asian food stores. New Zealand had their product tested and although it did contain melamine, as there had been no harm done yet they were unable to recall the product. This sounds crazy at first blush, but then two reporters who did the maths, using test results, noted that "a 60kg adult would have to eat more than 47 White Rabbit sweets every day over a lifetime to exceed the tolerable threshold" for melamine. Up until now omly infants have been falling sick, no doubt due to the fact that their entire diet has consisted of these contaminated milk products.
However, it should not be forgotten that this was delibarate contamination of a food product using a poison substance, to give a false protein result in watered down milk. Unfortunately the Chinese system of govenment deals with such matters in a predictable manner. Several low level officials are sacked from their positions and publicly denounced, while the communist party leadership is portrayed as wise and comforting, claiming that they will put everything right, saying that those responsible will be punished severely, while taking not one ounce of responsibility themselves.

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