China upholds death penalty for tainted dairy execs

- Last updated on GMT

A northern Chinese court has upheld two death sentences in the country’s tainted milk scandal, according to reports from the state news agency Xinhua.

Original verdicts handed out on January 22 were upheld for Geng Jinping for producing and selling poisonous food, and Zhang Yujun for endangering public safety, said Xinhua.

The cases relate to China's melamine scandal whereby the presence of the industrial chemical in milk products resulted in the hospitalisation of thousands of Chinese children as well a number of deaths, and the subsequent global recalls of tainted Chinese dairy products greatly damaged the country’s food safety reputation.

An appeal by Tian Wenhua, former chairwoman of Sanlu – the Chinese dairy company at the heart of the scandal - was also rejected by the higher court, said the news agency.

Melamine is a chemical that can make it appear there is more protein in a product, and has been linked to causing kidney stones and other health problems.

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