The Melamine Milk Mess – Where Did All The Stuff Go?

After the melamine scandal surfaced and reported here in September 2008, the Chinese health authorities have seized tons of contaminated milk from local manufacturers as well as received even more from rejected foreign shipments.


One Easy Way of Disposal - workers squeezing milk into a drainage ditch leading to a sewage plant(AP photo)

The problem with the Chinese Health Ministry now is how to dispose off the tens of thousands of tons of melamine-stained milk which had been seized so far. Well, some of it was buried and mixed with coal while one trash company in Guangzhou actually dumped it into a river, turning the waters a frothy white!

Nobody’s saying how much exactly has been seized, but to give an idea, last month some 32,000 tons – enough to fill up 23 Olympic swimming pools – were disposed off in the province of Hebei alone, according to local news agencies.

Another ingenious method was to icinerate the contaminated milk powder in 3000 degree heat and convert the residue to cement, a technique which was claimed  to be environmentally friendly. In fact, this method is one of two officially approved by Beijing, the other being to dispose them into official land-fills.

So, it looks like the official Chinese government stand is.. burn it or bury it!

One response

  1. You may also be curious about what happened to all the melamine tainted products that ended up in the United States. I was working in a national chain retail store that sold White Rabbit Candy. I had eaten a bag of the candy two days before becoming extremely ill for a week. By the time I got back to work the candy was sitting in a shopping cart in the break room with a note on it. About two weeks after I returned we were told what to do with it. We just threw it out. In fact, I had to stop another store employee who would have sneaked out a few bags of candy because they were merely treated as if they were expired. Anyone could have helped themselves to several bags in the dumpster.

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