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Men Charged in Tainted Chinese Milk Deaths

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Six men involved in the production of melamine-tainted infant milk formula are set to face trial in China for their wrongdoing. According to prosecutors, the men are responsible for contaminating milk powder with melamine, which is a chemical used to harden plastic. When added to baby formula, it creates the appearance of elevated protein levels. Hundreds of thousands of people were injured by the product, over 50,000 infants required hospital treatment, and at least six children were killed.

While this trial is a step in the right direction, many issues remain unresolved. Until Saturday, it appeared that families of the victims would have little or no recourse against the manufacturers or distributors of the tainted products, as courts in China had refused to hear civil damage cases. However, an agreement has been apparently been reached among the manufacturers and victims, and those who have suffered an injury or death in the family will receive some amount of compensation.

The tainted baby formula caused agonizing kidney failure in its victims. Many recent reports have linked melamine poisoning to other products manufactured in China, including seafood and children’s toys.