China’s food safety chief resigns

Scott Tong Sep 22, 2008
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China’s food safety chief resigns

Scott Tong Sep 22, 2008
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Scott Jagow: The head of product safety in China resigned today. Hardly surprising. More than 50,000 Chinese babies have kidney problems from drinking tainted milk. The milk had a industrial chemical in it called melamine. And as you might recall, this isn’t the first recall in China. Our Shanghai correspondent, Scott Tong, has more.


Scott Tong: China’s top quality supervisor was Li Changjiang. Every product safety scandal has occurred on his watch from lead paint in toys to tainted pet food,and now toxic milk powder. Arthur Kroeber of Dragonomics consulting sees Li is the scapegoat for a government that wants to show it’s on the case.

Arthur Kroeber: I suspect that what will happen is that we will now have a massive campaign to test all kinds of milk products, to impose draconian punishments on milk suppliers and that this particular problem will be addressed.

But Kroeber says fundamental flaws in the system remain. For one, it’s impossible to check the tens of thousands of family farmers who supply much of the food chain. And that chain extends well beyond China. Certain Chinese milk products are now banned in Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Bangladesh and several other countries.

In Shanghai, I’m Scott Tong for Marketplace.

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