Chinese milk problems in Nth Korea 3 yrs ago

October 2, 2008

Ex-expat left a comment on a previous post with a link to The Daily NK  which carries a story saying children fed on milk powder imported from China were falling ill and dying three years ago.

 Amidst the Chinese ¡°Melamine milk¡± repercussions that are spreading rapidly across the world, it has come to light that a number of North Korean infants who had been given Chinese powdered milk in 2005 died.

According to merchants trading between China and North Korea, the Chinese Melamine-tainted milk affair started in Pyongyang in the summer of 2005. At the time, infants who ate imported Chinese powdered milk fell unconscious and, in more serious cases, died.

Does the fact that neither China nor North Korea are bastions of free speech have anything to do with this not having been widely known until now?

Desert island date

October 2, 2008

The Herald is doing its bit to lighten the election campaign by running a series of character polls on the party leaders.

The current one asks: which of these politicians would you rather be stranded on a desert island  with?

Those upset by the furore over leaders’ debates on TV will be pleased to know the eight leaders of the parties in parliament are all there.


Hat Tip: Inquiring Mind

More melamine contamination

October 2, 2008

The Wall Street Journal reports that 31 more batches of Chinese milk powder were found to be conaminated with melamine.

The new batches were mostly milk-powder products for adults. A previous round of tests found melamine in 69 batches of infant milk powder.

The new figure brings to at least 100 the number of tested batches of milk powder found to contain melamine. Dozens of brands sold by more than a score of dairy firms, including some of China’s biggest names, have been among those tested.

A Japanese company is recalling custard tarts imported from China which contain tiny amounts of melamine.

The level of contamination posed no risk to health “if (an average adult) keeps eating 428 of them every day for life,” the company said in a statement. The company said it has received no reports of health problems.

And tests in Hong Kong cleared sweets produced by several Western brands and manufactured in China, including Mars, Cadbury and Kraft.

Hat Tip: Inquiring Mind.

Just wondering . .

October 2, 2008

. . . if there’s a note on a mail box saying no circulars, would it be alright to put in something rectangular?

Let’s axe ’em all

October 2, 2008

MWT puts a compelling case  for abolishing the Electoral Commission.

There must be plenty of other unelected bodies that stand between Labour and eternal power – judiciary, police, other parties . . .

Why not just axe the lot of them?

Parents sue Sanlu

October 2, 2008

The parents of a one year old baby have sued Sanlu  because he developed kidney stones after drinking infant formula contaminated by melamine.

The case is being represented by Ji Cheng . . . [who] said his clients sought legal help because they could no longer afford medical treatment for their child, the report said.

Even though China’s State Council, the Cabinet, has ordered hospitals to provide free health care for sick children, the facility where this child was being treated, Beijing Children’s Hospital, only offers free treatment to children diagnosed after September 12, when the scandal broke, the magazine said.

It said Ji’s clients have had to foot all medical expenses incurred since June, when the baby started showing symptoms.

Fonterra has a 43% stake in Sanlu which is one of 22 companies in China which used milk poisoned by melamine to produce baby formula.

Update: Macdoctor has more on this here.

What does this mean?

October 2, 2008

I’m a sucker for quizes so I followed the link from In a Strange Land  to the MMP quiz.

I scored 8/9 (missed the one on the last date you can enrol for a general election). That put me above the average of 5.5/9 and encouraged by that I went on to the advanced quiz.

I got one wrong there too. It was:

Which of the following is true?
Parliamentary parties are the only ones that receive state funding
Each registered party can spend up to $1 million on its party vote campaign
There is no state funding of campaigns
Registered parties receive state campaign funding based largely on their success at the previous election
I opted for no state funding and was surprised to get it wrong because the answer is:

Registered parties receive state campaign funding based largely on their success at the previous election.

Please tell me that refers only to the allocation of broadcasting funding and that full state funding hasn’t been introduced by stealth?

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