Three people from the Shaanxi Jinqiao Dairy Co, in northern Shaanxi province, have been detained and accused of producing and selling toxic food, Chinese state media reported yesterday.
The police operation comes just over a year after a nationwide contamination scandal involving the lacing of milk powder with the industrial chemical killed six and sickened an estimated 300,000.
The general manager and two employees of the dairy company have been accused of selling more than five tonnes of contaminated milk powder to a food additive firm in the southern region of Guangxi in September. The Nanning Yueqian food additive company uncovered the contamination last month, leading to the detentions on 2 December.
Xu Qiang, deputy head of the regional public security department, said that none of the product had reached the market and all of it had been recovered.
On November 24, China executed two people for their part in the 2008 contamination scandal. Zhang Yujun received the death penalty for endangering public safety and Geng Jinping was killed for producing and selling toxic food. Chinese officials said the pair were the only ones who had been executed over the contamination incidents, although 19 other people have also been jailed.
In a separate development, the first civil case related to the melamine incidents was postponed indefinitely this week, reported China Daily. The official English language publication said the initial hearing was heard at the end of November in Beijing, with the father of a 20-month-old child demanding compensation of US$8,000 from the Sanlu Group and a supermarket chain. The second hearing was cancelled after the defendants demanded further investigation into the link between their child’s illness and the milk powder.