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Parents to Sue in Soya Milk Poisoning Case

Several dozen students are still seriously ill after a massive food poisoning accident two years ago in the city of Jilin, in northeast China's Jilin Province, according to a report in Beijing Youth Daily Sunday.

In September 2001, a total of 6,362 students experienced fever, stomach cramps or vomiting two days after drinking soya milk produced by the Jilin Wanfang Scientific, Industrial and Trade Ltd Co.

Since then, some of the seriously ill students have been diagnosed with such problems as cerebral spasms, myocarditis, gastritis, hepatomegaly and splenomegaly, said the paper.

Three have been confirmed with leukemia, while experts say the normal incidence is one in 100,000. All the sick students are from 12 primary and middle schools affiliated with the Jilin Chemical Group.

Parents of the affected students are preparing to initiate legal action against the involved schools and the local hygiene department.

The case is expected to go to court before the end of this month, said the paper.

The original site of the soybean company used to be a complex of chemical plants. So the parents believe that apart from bacteria, the soya milk drunk by their children was probably contaminated with heavy metals, insiders were quoted as saying by Beijing Youth Daily.

(China Daily December 8, 2003)

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