Nearly 100 people have been arrested in China for allegedly producing and selling illegal melamine-tainted dairy products, according to official Chinese media.
Of the 96 people detained in connection with melamine adulteration, 17 have been convicted, including two people who were sentenced to life in prison. Thirty-eight people are awaiting trail and 41 remain in custody and are under investigation, according to a recent statement by the State Council’s Food Safety Commission.
The adulterated dairy–believed to be left over from the country’s 2008 scandal that sickened 300,000 and killed at least 6–was discovered during a series of food safety raids.
The latest raid turned up 2,132 tons of melamine-tainted milk powder. Chinese authorities have seized over 25,000 tons of melamine dairy since the high-profile scandal grabbed international headlines in 2008.
Melamine is an industrial chemical that can be used for artificially boosting protein content in dairy quality tests. The chemical is usually used to manufacture plastic and when ingested can cause kidney failure and kidney stones.
The announcement on melamine-related arrests by the State Council’s Food Safety Commission comes just a few days before Chinese President Hu Jintao is set to visit Washington, D.C. to meet with President Obama to discuss a number of issues critical to the U.S.-China relationship.