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

Categories: East Asia, China, Taiwan (ROC), Breaking News, Economics & Business, Governance, Health, International Relations, Youth

The powdered milk products, produced by the Sanlu (三鹿) Group in China, were found to be contaminated by melamine [1] after hundreds of babies in China got sick with kidney stones [2]. 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 [3] 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 [1] 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 [4] 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) [5] 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) [6] 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) [7] sworn into office this May… and they cannot even protect our fellow countrymen.

Sinhong [3] 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 [4] 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 [8] 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 [9], 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 [10] took money from the Sanlu Group and helped them filter opinions harmful to the company when people search on Baidu. t4822k11b [11] 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.