Donate today to keep Global Voices strong!

Our global community of volunteers work hard every day to bring you the world's underreported stories -- but we can't do it without your help. Support our editors, technology, and advocacy campaigns with a donation to Global Voices!

Donate now

See all those languages up there? We translate Global Voices stories to make the world's citizen media available to everyone.

Learn more about Lingua Translation  »

Taiwan and China: Fury over poisoned powdered milk made in China

The powdered milk products, produced by the Sanlu (三鹿) Group in China, were found to be contaminated by melamine after hundreds of babies in China got sick with kidney stones. One baby in the Gansu province, China, died because of that.

25 tons of powered milk products manufactured by the Sanlu Group were exported to Taiwan this August, and this news caused extensive panic in Taiwan.

Sinhong talked about how late people were informed by the China government about the powdered milk contamination.


This March in China, there were rumors that babies were sick due to contaminated powdered milk. There were formal case reports from hospital this June, and the contaminated powdered milk was exported to Taiwan around that time. In the beginning of this August, the Sanlu group found there was melamine in their powdered milk products. However, the Sanlu Group deferred to recall these contaminated powdered milk until September 11st, and the China government informed Taiwan officials in September 12nd.

Eric further criticized how Taiwan government ignored the warning and acted slowly.

人命關天的大事,十二日接到電話的海基會竟感覺「善意」,而後府院噤不做聲,見事態愈演愈烈後,到昨日才由劉兆玄召開跨部會議下令展開交涉,這種末梢神經近乎麻痺的狀態,最可能的病因只有一個,就是唯恐破壞馬英九上台後一路「呵護」的兩岸氣氛…影響所及,連人民最基 本的生命健康都無能保障。

This is a very serious issue concerning human life, but the Strait Exchange Foundation (海峽交流基金會) was touched by the China government's “good will,” and our government decided to shut up. Later after they found the situation out of their control, Premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄) finally decided to hold an inter-departmental meeting. The reaction nerve of our government seems to be totally numbed and the reason was most probably due to the fear of spoiling the “cherished” Taiwan-China relationship after President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) sworn into office this May… and they cannot even protect our fellow countrymen.

Sinhong also talked about the possibility that the China government covered this scandal because of the Olympic Games this August.


This cover-up of contaminated powdered milk scandal cannot not be separated from the Olympic Games in Beijing. The Olympic Games was from 8/8 to 8/24. Before the Olympic Games, China government gave orders to cover all the reports that might destroy the image of China. The Sanlu Group discovered the contamination just before the Olympic Games, and we can see the China government chose to let their people die so that they can keep the positive image of China. However, this cover-up not only affects its people's lives, it further threatens people in other countries, such authoritarian attitude towards people's lives is absolutely not tolerable!

The Sanlu Group claimed that the melamine found in their powdered milk was added by the dairy farmers and milk dealers to meet the nitrogen standard after they added water to dilute the milk. However, not everyone believes their claim.

Eric reasoned based on the milk powder production process.


Who decided to add melamine to increase nitrogen detection in the powdered milk must be professional as it requires chemical knowledge, so I do not believe that melamine was added by the diary farmers.

Williamlong also reasoned based on the chemical property of melamine.


Melamine is only slightly soluble in water, so how could the diary farmers add melamine to the milk? If they really added melamine to their milk, melamine would be separated from the milk. As a result, I believe melamine was added to the milk powder directly after the company processed the milk.

Lianyue, who is a Chinese, appealed to China government for taking this scandal seriously, finding the real problems, and solving the problems.


If the China government does not investigate all people involved,…China's diary industry will fall down. The Sanlu Group is one of China's leading dairy producers, when they added toxic substances in their products, people will think all other producers in China might do the same. If the Sanlu Group wants to protect itself and claims that adding melamine is an open secret in this industry, the whole diary industry in China will fall into crisis…China's food industry will fall down, too. If the companies and the China government do not bother to poison the children, what is their baseline in the poisoning industry? Pets, teenagers, adults…. “Made in China” is already notorious because of the toxic substances in China's products. If the Sanlu Group survive this time, we will wait and see how the Sanlu Group hits the last coffin nail for China.

There was also rumor saying that Baidu took money from the Sanlu Group and helped them filter opinions harmful to the company when people search on Baidu. t4822k11b said,

三鹿的危机公关解决方案被内部员工曝光,其中内容显示三鹿如给百度支付300万公关保护费,百度就通过搜索技术屏蔽三鹿负面新闻。…百度的这位公关经理还解释说:“在百度上搜一下,之前的负面新闻都在,这就是最好的证据。”…通过搜索发现,百度上所有的三鹿负面新闻,都是在9月12日后开始出现的。用网上广为流传的热帖标题“三鹿,在小朋友的生命健康面前请不要表演”作为关键词搜索,9 月12日下午,google显示11400篇,而百度在9仅能显示11条;9月13日上午,google显示11800篇,百度却一下子上升到54条。

The crisis management plan of the Sanlu Group was uncovered by its own employee. This crisis management plan suggested to give Baidu three million and ask Baidu to filter the news…Baidu's public relations executive said, “if you search on Baidu, you can find past news, harmful or not to the Sanlu Group. This is the best proof.”…However, after investigating, we can see that those news harmful to the Sanlu Group started to appear after 9/12. If you key in “Sanlu, do not act in dealing with our children's health” (三鹿,在小朋友的生命健康面前请不要表演 ) and search, in 9/12 afternoon, google shows 11400 links while Baidu only shows 11 links. In 9/13 morning, google shows 11800 links and Baidu shows 54 links, which increased quickly.
  • ilya


  • Pingback: Noon International: Food Trading Import Export » China Powdered Milk, Melamine, Cover Up?()

  • ali baba

    ( 黄河飞流 08-09-15 15:54:00 ) 0字 ( 0/33/5 )
    If this incidence ( kidney stone milk powder) happened in western country, their government would be subjected to what kind of investigation?!
    # 欧美国家如果出现结石奶粉事件,由法院处理 ( 我们美国人 08-09-15 15:59:48 ) 0字 ( 0/3/0 )
    If kidney stone milk power incidence happened to be in western countries, the law court would step in.

    # 政府首先就要道歉,可我国政府一点道歉的意思都没有,理直气壮的说坚决一查到底,纯属放屁 ( 封封 08-09-15 15:56:33 ) 0字
    First of all government has to apologise, but our government shows no sign of it at all, pretends to be innocent, saying things like they will get to the bottom of it, it is purely just farts.

    # 真正的贼喊捉贼 ( 封封 08-09-15 15:57:22 ) 0字
    A real case of robbers yelling out :Lets catch the thief.

    # 赔得倾家荡产,还要坐牢 ( 封封 08-09-15 15:55:22 ) 0字
    Someone will have to pay until they gone bankrupt, then go to jail.

    新闻界的耻辱:骗子报纸——中国食品质量报! ( 关之丝 08-09-15 15:50:48 ) 659字
    Shame of the news media: swindler’s newspaper—-China Food Quality Reports!
    # 假大空几十年如一日 ( 真话不利于稳定 08-09-15 15:53:50 ) 0字 ( 0/1/0 )
    Years after years the same story, fakes, pretends to be big, emptiness.

    # 三鹿,人间悲剧 ( east2008 08-09-15 15:52:31 ) 7字 ( 0/3/0 )

    Three Deers, tragedy on earth.

    天朝有不是骗子的报纸么? ( 司马缸砸光 08-09-15 15:51:54

    Celestial Court’s newspapers, which one does not belong to cheats and swindlers?

    新西兰首相克拉克周一称,当新西兰奶业巨头恒天然要求召回受污染的三鹿配方奶粉时,中国官员并没有这麽做. ( 一无所得 08-09-15 15:49:16 ) 0字 ( 0/73/0 )

    On Monday, New Zealand Prime Minister Clark said,when New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra requested the recall of tainted milk powder, Chinese officials did not do so.

    Quotation from”They have been trying for weeks to get official recall and the local authorities in China would not do it,” Clark told TVNZ. “I think the first inclination was to try and put a towel over it and deal with it without an official recall.”

    质检部门就起这作用吗?-没有质检部门时只是掺假,有质检部门时还要掺毒。 ( 核潜艇A 08-09-15 15:48:19 ) 86字

    Department of quality control, what else can they do?
    Before QC, they would add fakes to the real stuff, now we have QC, they are adding poison .

    爆:拥有三鹿集团43%的股权的新西兰恒天然,曾多次要求召回三鹿污染奶粉 中国地方官员置若罔闻,直到通知北京的才全面介入此事。 ( 吾爱北京天安门 08-09-15 15:40:27 ) 0字
    Explosive revelation: New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra,holding 43% of Sanlu shares,had many times requested the recall of tainted milk powder, Chinese officials turned deaf, until Beijing was informed, only then actions started to taken.

    消息绝对真实,这翻话是新西兰总里海伦・克拉克对全国电视讲话时公开说的,今天中午! ( 吾爱北京天安门 08-09-15 15:52:49 ) 0字 ( 0/7/0
    This news is absolutely true, New Zealand PM Helen Clark said this on national TV,today noon time!

  • ali baba

    作者:让我来扒伊利的皮 回复日期:2008-9-16 1:44:07 From 

    More explosive revelation on Sanlu poison milk powder.

    According to my source of information, poison powder was mainly produced on the border of Hebai and inner Mongolia, 500 kg of chemical melamine is added to one ton of milk by those bosses of the milk collecting station,

    yet they said the Sanlu QC section were unable to detect it, but any national diary products enterprise are able to detect melamine, the truth is at least one of the Sanlu’s subsidy company management and QC personnel are in collusion with the milk collection stations, in order to produce this large amount of melamine milk,


    But this over ten thousand tons of melamine milk was initially to be exported, and end up to be rejected because of substandard, it was then shipped to under developed area and sold at 18 yuan per kilo.

    Just imagine, over ten thousand tons of export milk powder was rejected, and not a single person in Sanlu know anything about it, only ghost would believe such a lie, more over that daring factory was shut down by Sanlu at the beginning of this year, there should still be huge amount of melamine milk in store.

    南方周末记者葛清; 可怕的牛奶:一个奶站老板与行业潜规则的斗争
    Southern Weekend reporter Ge Ching: Horrible milk: The struggle of a milk collection station boss and the industry’s unwritten rules.

  • Pingback: Global Voices Online » China:Infant-killer milk powder sickens the country()

  • Pingback: Global Voices Online » China: Crisis on “Made in China”()

  • Pingback: Poisoned powder milk in China – why Bangladesh needs to worry | E-Bangladesh()

  • Pingback: Trashfood » Blog Archive » Scandalo melamina()

  • http://none 巴巴

    你们中国人真是一大批骗子! 政府,老百姓也包括在内!

  • Pingback: Global Voices Online » Ripples of the China Milk Scandal in Africa()

Receive great stories from around the world directly in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the best of Global Voices
* = required field
Email Frequency

No thanks, show me the site