Kidney Stone Gate: Sanlu Apology & Melamine Test Results

Several days ago, it was reported that hundreds of Chinese babies developed kidney stones drinking Sanlu brand melamine milk powder baby formula. Sanlu received complaints and paid consumers to keep quiet. Yesterday, a representative for the Sanlu Group held a press conference and finally apologized. He even bowed.

Video On Youku.

From Great Wall Online: “Shijiazhuang Sanlu Group Co., Ltd. open letter to all sectors of society

All sectors of the community, numerous consumers:

That the “Sanlu brand infant milk formula” major safety incident has caused serious harm to many children and their families, we are very distressed! San Lu Group expresses to you all the most sincere apology!

On the morning of September 15, at 9:00, my company learned from the Hebei Province Public Security Bureau news conference that they have made significant progress in the case of suspects adding melamine to my company’s milk, 19 criminal suspects have been detained, and two of them were arrested in accordance with the law. My company sincerely thanks the public security department working day and night, taking the pains to quickly crack this case.

My company solemnly declares, with regards to products produced before August 6, we have fully recalled, and with regards to products produced after August 6, if consumers object, and are not at ease, we will also recall. At the same time, we will spare no cost actively treating the sick infants and young children. Finally, once again we sincerely apologize to our numerous consumers and sick infants and their families!

Shijiazhuang Sanlu Group Co., Ltd.

2008, September 15

Sanlu Group vice president Zhang Zhenling apologizes to consumers for milk powder baby formula incident.

Also on Sina, on NetEase, or Xinhua.

Comments on Great Wall Online:

Should we first take this company’s money and give it to the children for medical care? When there is a traffic accident, it is always the person at fault who must first shoulder the medical costs. How can it be that the country provides free medical care? The country’s money comes from the taxes of the ordinary people.

What kind of dog fart apology is this? They are just shirking responsibility. May Sanlu Group management all be unable to have children!

If they [Sanlu] could become a nationally exempt from inspection product, does the Communist party also have responsibility???

You said it, Sanlu milk powder really is such a scam, just like that popular “Sanlu Milk Powder Song” on the internet right now:

Sanlu milk powder is a scam,
How many people have you actually cheated?
Your annual milk powder output is 80,000 tons.
How many children have drank until they got kidney stones.

Adorable babies are so innocent,
How could they know there are such evil people in the world.
For wealth you ignore a black heart,
Wealth overflows conscience lost.

How many parents’ tears dripping,
How many officials pretended to be blind,
How many infants met disaster,
How many more disasters are waiting for us?

Sanlu Group is not wrong.
Sanlu Group is not wrong, the present system created the Sanlu incident. When something happens and the government must give those children free medical care, who would use the leadership’s own money? You take the nation’s money and give it to these corporations to wipe their butts. Does this corporation not have money? Those that do advertising for the company should also be investigated for responsibility, and what about those regulatory agencies? What would happen if these things had happened in other countries? First, it would be the judiciary that decides these things, and first this company would definitely have to close down, there are no such things as rectifying or reforming. Look how there are nationally exempt from inspection products everywhere now. This will definitely result in more problems. All of these recent problems are because the country’s regulatory agencies and these problem-causing companies are in collusion with each other, I know because I am also in the industry.

Comments on KDS (1 and 2):

No need for apologies, now the people just want you to die.

Why was it not Tian Wenhua [Sanlu’s President/CEO] to come out and bow?!

Definitely meaningless, Tian Wenhua can do whatever she wants in Hebei, and she has power in Beijing too. Moreover, she also has permanent residency in New Zealand, so she can flee anytime, and has enough money to last several lifetimes. If Sanlu dies, she will not die, and her money will also not die.

Alright, I accept [the apology], but you must eat the rest of the poisonous milk powder…

**** Let their own children eat this milk powder and see. If this was in Japan, I bet the boss would have to commit suicide [by cutting one’s stomach, “commit hari-kari/seppuku”]. Chinese people are easily taken advantaged of, but for children so young meeting such a crime, it is too merciless. Those responsible for devastating these children should publically commit suicide.

Comments on NetEase:

Sanlu, how about you please take your sincerity and go apologize door to door to all the children who were harmed.

If you really still want to show everyone that your conscience has not completely rotted away, just make some honest remedies!!!

Will bowing redeem you? Then let me kill you and just bow once to make everything okay.

If apologies were enough, why do we still need police?

Sanlu is done for! Thank you, Internet.

Do you think Sanlu’s apology is the end of this matter? Or do you think there will be more to this story?

Sanlu Group vice president Zhang Zhenling bows in apology to consumers for milk powder baby formula incident.

The government is now also testing all the other Chinese milk brands. Some Chinese have thought it was weird that the other brands have not been criticizing Sanlu over this incident. Some of the results from the government test are now available. They were also announced on the CCTV Xinwen Lianbo program tonight (video in Chinese):

  • 175 companies make milk-related products.
  • 66 do not make products for babies.
  • 109 companies were tested.
  • So far 491 batches randomly tested for melamine.
  • 69 batches from 22 companies found to contain varying amounts of melamine.
  • All 11 of 11 batches from Sanlu had melamine content.
  • Sanlu had the highest melamine content, 2563mg per kg.
  • 熊猫 “Panda,” was second worst. 3 of 5 batches had melamine, with the highest content of 619mg per kg.
  • Products provided for the Olympics and Para-Olympics were tested and were not found to have melamine (but who knows if they would tell the truth about this one).

There are reports that many big supermarkets in Shanghai no longer have milk, only yogurt.

How do you feel about the other brands that have been tested and found to have some melamine too?

This is Part 3 of the Sanlu Milk Powder Incident, see also:

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Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.

  • Gaoshan

    If this is handled like it would be in the U.S. a sacrificial victim will be found at Sanlu and after that individual (or group if the situtation warrants it) has been thrown to the wolves the top executives will get fat bonuses and then “leave for opportunities in a different sector” (i.e. quit and run). Meanwhile the regular workers will be out of work as Sanlu implodes and collapses. That’s how we would do it in America.

    This all assumes that Sanlu cannot push all of the blame onto some farmers which I assume they will try to do. The farmers, unless they have a union or organization protecting them, will be unable to defend themselves and would make excellent scapegoats for Sanlu executives to go after.

  • Veer Left

    Riiiight…it’s somehow back to the US.
    If it was the US. there would be lawsuits and tens of millins of dollars handed out to victims.

  • mtm

    Gaoshan, while I appreciate your sentiments, the fact is that Sanlu deserves to implode and collapse. What mother would feed her baby with a Sanlu product ever again? Make no mistake, Sanlu IS responsible even if they truly didn’t know about it simply because they are the ones taking our money and raking in the profits. Ignorance is not an excuse.

    This is something that the Americans get right. Companies need to know it isn’t just raking in profits, they have to be accountable too.

  • Kai

    By now, everyone pretty much knows who is responsible, and it is pretty much everyone. The greedy individuals who added melamine, the companies who profited from ignoring it, and the government that failed to do its duty to protect the masses. The question now really is: Will anything change?

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  • Sturich

    Shocking, how people will hurt babies just to make money.

  • Mike

    What is so shocking about a Country that allows “poisoned” foods for both humans and pets… along with “poisoned” toys… Why would anyone trust them to produce a safe product?