Saturday, December 27, 2008

Trial Begins in China's Melamine Scandal

The company in China responsible for selling melamine-tainted milk powder that sickened nearly 300,000 children is now bankrupt, Reuters reports. It is $160 million in debt and nobody wants to buy its products anymore. (Too bad it isn't a U.S. corporation, or it could get rescued by the Federal Reserve, huh?)

Now, six people in China are being put on trial for their role in the melamine scandal, including one that knowingly sold more than 600 tons of melamine to the Sanlu dairy producer, which processed it into powdered milk.

Several have already admitted their role in the melamine scandal, meaning the courts need only decide the punishment for their crimes. As the death penalty is alive and well in China, it remains possible that the melamine criminals could be sentenced to death for their roles in not just poisoning hundreds of thousands of children, but also in causing the erosion of faith in Chinese-made products around the world.

China's exports have plummeted since the melamine scandal, and dozens of factories have been shut down. Of course, the drop in exports is also strongly related to the collapse of consumer demand in the U.S. economy, not just the melamine scandal
Trail Begins in China's Melamine Scandal
Natural, AZ

further reading
6 Chinese go on trial for selling melamine
The Associated Press
China begins melamine-scandal trials Radio Netherlands
China toxic milk pair stand trial
Two Chinese face trial in milk powder scandal Hindu