Posted by: bigtalksingapore | September 23, 2008

China tainted milk strike fear throughout the globe.

China is now considered to be a tainted brand in global perspective.
Imagine how much they spend on the Beijing Olympic to lift the image of China, all that has gone down the drain with the tainted milk.
This gets to show how business is really run in China.
No wonder so many shrewd Taiwanese businessman cannot compete with China businessman.


There’re so many news report on the tainted milk fiasco, I’ll take out some from “Today” and “My Paper” to discuss here.
Many questions are on people mind, I’ll try to summarize some of it here.

.
How many people/children affected ?

  • 52,857 children in china affected (See attachment #4 and 9).
  • 2 children in Hong Kong detected.
    Another 3 more children have developed kidney stone outside China (See attachment #11 ) [Updated 25 Sep 2008]
  • 12,892 children still in hospital, the rest had “basically recovered”.
    What do they mean by “basically recovered” ?
    Will there be side effect down the road ?
  • 4 children in China died.
  • How many affected (Long term) globally is still unknown.
  • Even the animal babies are affected (See attachment #22) [Updated 26 Sep 2008]

.
How many products in Singapore are affected ?

  • Singapore AVA told us that there are only 3 products affected so far (See attachment #1).
  • Singapore AVA found another 5 more products affected (See attachment #12), you can check AVA website for the latest update [Updated 25 Sep 2008].
  • NTUC fairprice stock more than 10 brands of daily product from China. Gee, more than 10 mean what, 20, 30 or 50 ? (See attachment #2)
  • NTUC fairprice later took off 15 brands of milk products from its store (See attachment #3). So how many exactly ?
  • “But one thing we can take comfort in is that China itself has checked and they have said that very little of the milk has actually gone out of the country.” (Quoted from attachment #17).
    How much is “very little” ?
    Can we take China check as good enough ?
    Ever heard of the saying “Who you are, speak so loud that I cannot hear what you said.” [Updated 25 Sep 2008]

.
What was the tainted substance ?

  • The tainted substance was called Melamine. It was normally used in making plastic (See attachment #4).
    Now we know it has another use thanks to the creative thinking by China businessman.
  • Creative China businessman add Melamine to increase nitrogen and overall volumn. This is done so that it can still pass the protein test (See attachment #6).

.
How does it affect our health ?

  • At this moment, it seem that adult are not affected (Short term). And Singapore AVA kept assuring us that those tainted product in Singapore is minimum and will not affect our health (See attachment #10, 12, 15, 16).
    But the irony is that even experts from WHO (World Health Organization) don’t even know its safety limit for human consumption (See attachment #18).
    Looks like our AVA experts are more expert than WHO experts [Updated 25 Sep 2008].
  • The media reported that Singapore AVA safety limit for melamine is 5ppm (Parts per million), while Hong Kong is 2.5ppm (See attachment #19 and 20).
    They said

    “不等于管制比较松”

    在说什么话,在玩文字游戏吗?

    Safety limit 不就代表松不松吗?[Updated 26 Sep 2008]

.
Why didn’t Singapore AVA detect it ?

  • Singapore AVA only has test detection for salmonella, E.coli and enterobaster sakazakii (See attachment #5).
    Looks like they got caught off-handed while singing in their la-la land.
  • I believed Singapore AVA use sample testing on batches. Meaning to say that if China businessman mix up the batches, they may actually be able to pass the test. I just hope China businessmen are not so sophisticate enough to do this.

.
Will Singapore AVA detect it in the future ?

  • In another incident, formaldehyde was detected in “White rabbit creamy candies” last year in Philippine. Singapore AVA followup to detect traces of it in Singapore.
    But they pass it off as within safety limit (See attachment ##6). Meaning to say, they should be using some sort of safety limit to pass/fail Melamine product.
  • “To test for melamine, food sample are ground,cleaned and extracted with solvents. They are then analysed with a sophisticated instrument able to detec compounds to level as low as parts per billion.” (Quoted from attachment #8).
    Meaning to say, it’s going to be very expensive and troublesome to do this test.
    We”ll need more money to buy machine and train specialists or we may not be able to do it in the future.
  • AVA is considering a certification requirement for products from China to be declared melamine free (See attachment #13) [Updated on 25 Sep 2008]

.
How big was the cover up ?

  • First contamination was detected in New Zealand dairy cooperative Fonterra on 2 Aug.
    Three Fonterra directors on the Sanlu board were told of the problem (See attachment #9).
    Obviously, they swept it under their carpet, especially when Beijing Olympic was around the corner on 8 Aug.
  • I also heard rumor that the problem has been in existance for few years. If so, then we’re probably only seeing the tip of the iceberg (Like the sub-prime crisis).
  • “My Paper” reported that the contamination stretch back to past year (See attachment #13, 14) [Updated 25 Sep 2008]
  • As they investigate further, they seem to keep uncovering more and more skeleton. This time round, the China Central government seem to be involved (See attachment #21) [Updated 26 Sep 2008]

.
What’s the impact on the market ?

  • There’re three word to descript consumers’ feeling, Fear, Confuse and Anger.
  • Supermarket and Businesses told “Today” the impact of the suspended sale of China milk product has been minimal (See attachment #8).
    Come on, stop kidding yourself. It’s too early to say “minimal”, do not underestimate the power of “Fear”.
  • They said that not all product are made in China, so you can still drink your Dutch lady strawberry milk made in Malaysia (Attachment #8).
    I don’t know about you, but I’ll definitely run away when “Dutch Lady” pop out in front of me.
  • China brand is definitely out of the window, especially when people link it to “Baby Killer”.
  • If too many products are affected, I can think of a worst case scenario.
    That is, the authority may loosen the safety limit (If there is one) of melamine and let more product pass.
    There may not be immediate effect on consumer health in the short and medium term.
    So it may still be considered minimum damage considering the other alternative of closing down more companies and a possibility of a food crisis.

.
What can we do ?

  • Here’s a creative solution from me. Drink your milk in less quantity at a time. Wait 1 hour for your body to process it before taking the next gulp.
  • Other than that, don’t eat any processed food or stop eating.

.

Attachment #1: Tainted product by AVA(http://www.ava.gov.sg) on23 Sep 2008

Attachment #2: Today, 20 Sep 2008, Page 10



Attachment #3: My Paper, 23 Sep 2008, Page A2

.

Attachment #4: My Paper, 23 Sep 2008, Page A2


Attachment #5: My Paper, 23 Sep 2008, Page B6


Attachment #6: My Paper, 23 Sep 2008, Page B1


Attachment #7: Today, 23 Sep 2008, Page 1


Attachment #8: Today, 23 Sep 2008, Page 2

Attachment #9: Today, 23 Sep 2008, Page 12

Attachment #10: Today, 25 Sep 2008, Page 1

Attachment #11: My Paper, 25 Sep 2008, Page A6

Attachment #12: My Paper, 25 Sep 2008, Page A5

Attachment #13: My Paper, 24 Sep 2008, Page A4

Attachment #14: My Paper, 24 Sep 2008, Page A4

Attachment #15: My Paper, 24 Sep 2008, Page B6

Attachment #16: My Paper, 24 Sep 2008, Page B6

Attachment #17: Today, 24 Sep 2008, Page 3

Attachment #18: From WHO website
http://www.who.int/csr/media/faq/QAmelamine/en/index.html

Attachment #19: My Paper, 26 Sep 2008, Page B1

Attachment #20: My Paper, 26 Sep 2008, Page B4

Attachment #21: Today, 26 Sep 2008, Page 18

Attachment #22: Today, 26 Sep 2008, Page 20

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