China pulled off what is arguably one of the most impressive Olympic Games perhaps ever. From opening ceremony to the final event, the world was witness to some of the greatest spectacles ever associated with the Olympics.
However, the bask in glory and accomplishment has been short lived. Last week, reports began to surface of huge numbers of babies showing up in Chinese hospitals suffering from a variety of ailments most of which involved the kidneys and urinary tract. It was not long until a link was made to milk formula producers and the shocking revelation that melamine had been added to formula and diluted milk. "Melamine, which causes urinary problems including kidney stones, was first discovered in baby formula and then in liquid milk, yogurt and ice-cream, leading to mass recalls." According to the latest reports, almost 13,000 children had been hospitalized for symptoms directly related to the melamine additive. The numbers include 140 infants who are listed as "in critical condition.".
However, there is evidence that this health crisis is greater than most understand. According to the Chinese Health Ministry, "Some 1,579 babies had been "cured" and discharged." The Ministry also added that, "Hospitals nationwide had seen almost 40,000 and at least four children have died from drinking poisonous baby formula." Investigations initiated by the World Health Organization are beginning to indicate that a lack of internal communication and outright corrupt policies may have lead to a cover up for months or even years in regard to the tainting of infant milk products.
As the crisis continues, evidence is beginning to surface that the health crisis may not be contained to the borders of China. "A Japanese company is recalling thousands of buns made with Chinese milk, fearing contamination. This would be the first reported victim outside the mainland affected.
Adding to regional and international worries was the announcement today that "the Hong Kong government found melamine in Chinese-made Nestle milk.