Saturday, January 24, 2009

China: Death for two in tainted milk case - When do we see such headlines in India?

A Chinese court has handed down death sentences to two men implicated in a tainted-milk scandal that killed at least six infants and sickened hundreds of thousands of others.

The Intermediate People's Court in Shijiazhuang issued the first verdicts in a nationwide scandal surrounding milk powder tainted with the industrial chemical melamine.

Two men, Zhang Yujun and Geng Jinping, were sentenced to death. Zhang ran a workshop that allegedly was China's largest source of melamine used in the tainted dairy products. Geng was convicted of producing and selling toxic foodstuffs.

The court sentenced Tian Wenhua, the former head of the dairy company at the center of the scandal, to life in prison and fined her nearly $4 million. She was found guilty of making and selling fake or substandard products.

Her company, the now-bankrupt Sanlu Group, was fined more than $7 million. Six other former Sanlu executives were sentenced to jail, for five to 15 years.

The court had announced it would also sentence 21 defendants implicated in the scandal later.

Some parents are disappointed that no Chinese officials have had to face formal charges.

The scandal involving tainted milk broke in September, although Sanlu authorities knew of problems with their company's products months earlier.

Middlemen who sold milk to dairy companies had watered down the raw milk and then mixed it with melamine, which gives an artificially high reading for protein.

Melamine is normally used to make plastics and fertilizer. If ingested in large amounts, it can cause kidney stones and kidney failure. The Ministry of Health said it was likely the tainted milk scandal with Sanlu Group at its centre killed at least six babies. Another 2,96,000 infants suffered kidney stone and urinary problems.

When would we see such quick judgments against corruption happening in India?

Cross posted from Indian Medicos 


Nicole said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

It would be refreshing if we would treat our corporate chieftains with the same type of justice that the Chinese meted out to these people. From Wall Street to Main Street, swift and sure punishment for committing crimes makes good sense. It may be a little mideval, but you can't argue with the recidvism rate.

Ayurveda India

Nitin said...

You've noticed the right thing, that these things don't happen in India with any frequency... Few points... 1. India is not a Single Party system or even a Bi-party system like China or USA, so taking such drastic measures to ensure that the people follow the rules is out of question. 2. India is still trying to come to terms with the idea that in order to ensure deportation of the many criminals of India who are now resident in various EU nations, India will have to get rid of Corporal Punishment. 3. Did you notice the amount of Chinese Chocolates coming into India nowadays?? Yes, the tainted milk was probably used in making some of these chocolates too. So has the Indian govt done anything to check this?? Is a blanket ban on all Chinese goods not in the offing (the kind of which is being promoted right now and being opposed by China).

Anyways, don't expect enough hangings in India very soon, specially if Human Rights Commisions have it their way...

Ashutosh said...

I totally agree. It may not be feasible now. Because the government can't stand on its own. It needs support from other political parties. It is difficult to achieve 2/3rd majority in the parliament to pass any bill.

So here comes a suggestion.

Bhumi, as an NGO is doing splendid work, but still there are so many issues in the society which are beyond the scope of any NGO. The apex is union ministry. What if, we can have honest, truthful and dedicated leaders in the ministry?

Isn't it high time for the youth to plunge into politics and try and change the face of the whole country?

Being an NGO, we are doing very well, but being in politics, we can have a say in the administrative structure and we really can improve the way the country is being handled.

I really appreciate the thoughts posted above, but why don't we imagine the same thoughts being implemented by us?

Indian politics is starving of young leaders. So, if not today, then when shall we do it?

Prahalathan said...

agree with you, but it's a choice each one has to make for himself/herself.

We have lots of young people joining politics... but can be hardly considered the most desired type.

Nitin said...

I recently asked my Father why is it not feasible for a normal professional to jump into the field of Politics. He replied that Politics is a full time career and a very expensive one at that. No normal middle class person has that kind of willpower or resources. If the government were to provide equal opportunities to all contestants and if we were to create a system where the funding for a contest were to be raised by legal means without any strings attached, then my Question would have an answer. Can Bhumi file a petition asking for the same?? That is the first step towards a level playing field.

Prahalathan said...

Do u want the government to fund election expenses? What's the petititon for?

Nitin said...

a) Total accountability of Election expenses (that way at least they'll TRY to lie about their usage).

b) Sourcing of funds allowed only from the public with full accountability of source and expulsion from elections of anyone found defrauding the state, even if the person has been selected PM.