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The Washington Post reports that the tainted milk scandal in China continues to spread and have repercussions, despite assurances from the Chinese government that it has things under control. More than a dozen countries have banned or recalled items containing even a trace of Chinese dairy products, and the story notes that the World Health Organization (WHO) has said that the problem has been worsened by “a combination of ignorance and a deliberate failure to report.”

The dairy products have been found to be tainted with melamine, the same poisonous industrial chemical that can artificially inflate the protein levels of products to which it is added, and that recently sickened or killed thousands of pets before it was discovered in a number of brands of pet food.

According to the story, “Chinese health officials have confirmed the deaths of four infants who had kidney stones caused by drinking tainted milk powder. More than 54,000 babies have been sickened, including 12,892 who have been hospitalized, officials said. State media have reported that two other babies with kidney stones died this summer and that their parents said they had used a brand of tainted milk powder. But local officials have not confirmed a link to the scandal.”

An example of how the scandal has spread: USA Today reports this morning that Kraft Foods and Mars are investigating allegations that high traces of melamine have been found in Oreos, Snickers and other products imported from China.

KC's View:
The bet here is that there is no way this problem has been contained, and that the situation is going to be found to be a lot worse before it gets better.