Photo Essay: China’s Poisoned Milk Scandal

China’s latest consumer disaster—involving unsafe milk that has sickened more than 50,000 children—suggests that, for the Chinese people, excessive government secrecy and lax regulatory oversight has become a deadly illness.

Notes on a scandal: After a series of scares over product safety in China, the countrys worst such scandal yeta massive contamination of milk and other dairy productshas left more than 50,000 children ill. In just a few weeks, events have tested the strength of Chinas regulatory structure and the patience of its consumers. Outrage grew this week after the national television station announced that dairies knew of the problem long before a public recall of the products. Sanlu Group, one of Chinas most popular sellers of baby formula, delayed telling authorities for eight months. Local governments also took their timeperhaps in part to prevent a food scare from spoiling the Beijing Olympic Games.

Notes on a scandal: After a series of scares over product safety in China, the countrys worst such scandal yeta massive contamination of milk and other dairy productshas left more than 50,000 children ill. In just a few weeks, events have tested the strength of Chinas regulatory structure and the patience of its consumers. Outrage grew this week after the national television station announced that dairies knew of the problem long before a public recall of the products. Sanlu Group, one of Chinas most popular sellers of baby formula, delayed telling authorities for eight months. Local governments also took their timeperhaps in part to prevent a food scare from spoiling the Beijing Olympic Games.

Photo: China Photos/Getty Images

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