China says 300,000 babies sickened by tainted milk

Food Borne Diseases Posted on

China has dramatically raised the toll from its tainted milk powder scandal, saying six babies likely died and 300,000 were sickened, figures that back up months of complaints from parents and show the government is beginning to acknowledge the scale of the crisis.

The scandal has been met with public dismay and anger, particularly among parents who feel the government breached their trust after their children were sickened or died from drinking infant formula authorities had certified as safe.

The Health Ministry's revised death toll is twice the previous figure, while the new count of 294,000 babies who suffered urinary problems from drinking contaminated infant formula is a six-fold increase from the last tally in September.

"Most of the sickened children received outpatient treatment for only small amounts of sand-like kidney stones found in their urinary systems, while some patients had to be hospitalized for the illness," the ministry said in a statement late Monday.

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