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Sanlu Group Powdered Milk Crisis

  • Complaints and Melamine contamination

    The Sanlu Group, makers of milk powder, receive complaints about its baby formula after infants in Hunan province develop kidney stones after being fed the powder. The company learns that the milk was contaminated with melamine.
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    Sanlu Group Tainted Milk Crisis

  • 16 infants with kidney stones in Gansu Province

    Sixteen infants in Gansu Province fed milk powder made by the Sanlu Group are diagnosed with kidney stones.
  • Doctor reports concerns

    A doctor reports nine cases of kidney stones in babies and raises his concerns over the milk powder.
  • Sanlu warns govt. about contamination; investor pushes recall

    Sanlu alerts local authorities in the city of Shijiazhuang in north China's Hebei province, where it is headquartered, about the melamine contamination. The New Zealand dairy group Fonterra, an investor in Sanlu, learns about the illnesses and push for a recall.
  • Investor Fronterra pushes govt. involvement

    Fonterra pushes New Zealand's government to get involved, who then inform officials in Beijing.
  • Chinese officials warn of contamination

    Local Shijiazhuang officials tell Hebei Provincial officials about the contamination. Hebei provincial officials then contact the central government.
  • Sanlu recalls 700 tons of formula; 1 baby has died

    Two months after the first illnesses are reported, Sanlu publicly recalls 700 tons of baby formula. Dozens of babies have developed kidney stones and one has died. The World Health Organization is notified.
  • Sanlu publicly blamed; blanket inspection announced

    Health officials say over 400 babies have developed kidney stones. Sanlu is publicly blamed for waiting so long to warn the public. An inspection of all Chinese baby formula makers is announced.
  • 1,200 sick kids; 2 dead. Sanlu issues public apology

    The number of sick children rises to 1,200, with a total of two deaths. Chinese officials said contamination took place at the farm level. Sanlu issues a public apology for the contaminated milk powder. The company is ordered to halt production and destroy all unsold and recalled products.
  • Inspection finds 22 companies with tainted milk

    Sanlu Chairman and General Manager Tian Wenhua, is fired. A comprehensive inspection of over 100 baby milk powder makers finds 22 companies with traces of melamine.
  • 3 children dead; 6,000 sick

    China's two largest dairies recall baby formula. The death toll reaches 3 children with over 6,000 sick. Thousands of inspectors are sent to milk producers across the country. Sanlu's Tian Wenhua is charged with two violations of the criminal code.
  • 12 milk dealers arrested for milk contamination

    The Hebei Provincial Public Security Department announce the arrest of 12 milk dealers and suppliers who allegedly sold contaminated milk to Sanlu, bringing the total number arrested to 18.
  • Melamine is found in liquid milk.

    Melamine is found in liquid milk.
  • 4 children dead; 53,000 reported sick

    The number of sick children reaches 53,000 with four deaths. A child is found sick in Hong Kong after drinking Chinese dairy products.
  • China quality watchdog head resigns

    The head of China's product quality watchdog agency steps down.
  • Consumer panic over milk contamination

    An additional 10,000 cases of tainted milk were reported from provinces. Consumer panic halts purchases of milk, leaving farmers with no market or means of support for their milk.
  • Reuters reports milk-related illness at more than 90,000

    The Chinese government announces it will no longer issue updated figures since the tainted milk is not an infectious disease. Reuters reports that the number of people sick could total more than 90,000.
  • Police arrest suspect lacing milk powder with melamine

    Police in Hebei province arrest a suspect that made more than 600 tons of fake protein powder laced with melamine.
  • Top 3 dairy companies issue public apology

    Managers at the top three dairy companies: Mengniu, Yili and Bright Dairy, issue their first public apology for their involvement in the melamine milk scandal.
  • China announces $26.4 million dairy farmer subsidy

    China announces a $26.4 million subsidy to dairy farmers in Inner Mongolia to aid those economically hit by the scandal.
  • Milk screening shows no melamine in 13th round of tests

    Government tests show no trace of melamine in liquid milk in the 13th round of tests covering nearly 500 batches of baby formula from 66 brands in 22 cities.
  • UN issues report to China

    The United Nations issues a report urging China to educate and train food industry stakeholders and government enforcement agencies.
  • Eggs recalled due to melamine; Nine families sue sanlu

    Eggs in the city of Hangzhou are recalled due to melamine contamination. The Bright Dairy and Food Company announced it lost $50.5 million as a result of the scandal. Nine families affected by the tainted milk sue the Sanlu Company in separate lawsuits.
  • 8,300 tons of dairy products pulled since contamination

    Officials announce that 8,300 tons of unqualified milk products were withdrawn from the market since the toxic baby formula scandal's exposure.