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Bad Milk Victim Found in Guangzhou

A victim of substandard milk powder was found in Guangzhou following the deaths of 13 Anhui babies who were fed the formula and a national crackdown on substandard formula.

Sunday's Yangcheng Evening News quoted Prof. Li Fuchun, of a Guangzhou hospital, saying the six-month-old baby was suffering malnutrition caused by weak formula.

The infant, born in Guangzhou's Baiyun District, had been fed a formula produced in Heilongjiang Province since he was only a few days old, the infant's family said.

The formula was available at many supermarkets and shopping centers, with the most expensive costing 12 yuan (US$1.44) a bag. The family once bought more than 30 bags from a nearby store for less than eight yuan a bag, the infant's mother said.

The baby was born quite healthy but his growth lagged far behind other babies of the same age, the mother said.

The baby had also been suffering from skin infections and dropsy since he was two months old.

He was in stable condition in hospital and the formula had been sent for examination, the newspaper said.

The family said they had called the manufacturer with the number published on the formula package but found the number invalid.

The investigation is still under way.

Guangdong launched a thorough crackdown on bad formula recently after Premier Wen Jiabao ordered a thorough investigation of substandard milk powder.

Provincial industrial and commercial authorities checked 90 brands of milk powder in 19 supermarkets in eight cities, including Guangzhou, Shantou, Meizhou, Huizhou, Dongguan, Shanwei, Chaozhou and Jieyang.

Only 67.8 percent of these were up to national standards. Some were typical fake products, the Shenzhen Special Zone Daily reported Sunday.

Authorities have established special task forces in Meizhou, Shantou and Chaozhou where substandard milk powder was popular. The province issued a notice requiring related departments to conduct thorough checks of all places selling milk powder.

In Shenzhen, the administration for industry and commerce has seized more than 270 bags of milk powder on the national's blacklist of bad milk powder in Luohu District and 178 bags in Yantian since Thursday.

(Shenzhen Daily April 26, 2004)

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