Babies suffering from kidney stones receive medical treatment at the No.1 Hospital of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) in Lanzhou, Northwest China's Guansu Province, September 11, 2008. [Xinhua]
China's quality watchdog, the Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) is investigating a brand of baby milk powder suspected responsible for the rising number of infants suffering from kidney stones.
AQSIQ started looking in to a possible connection on Tuesday, when 14 cases of infants afflicted with kidney stones were reported in northwest Gansu Province, a spokesman of the agency said. At least one baby in the northwest province had died as a result of kidney stones.
Officials were sent to the related milk powder manufacturer, Sanlu, to collect the samples, he said. But he did not say when the administration would publish the results from samples.
The administration was also prompted to start a nationwide examination into infant milk powder at manufacturers. It promised to keep the public informed of the results in time.
This is not the first time Sanlu has been in the headlines in connection with a food quality scandal.
Thirteen infants died of malnutrition in 2004 in east Anhui Province after consuming substandard milk powder. Illegally manufactured milk powder falsely labeled with the brand of Sanlu and other major dairy companies caused 171 babies to be hospitalized.
(Xinhua News Agency September 12, 2008)