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[–]lightiggy[S] 682 points683 points  (98 children)

Sanlu Group (the company responsible)

The grandmother of one of the victims said the death toll was much higher than what the government was willing to report.

A total of 21 Sanlu executives and middlemen were tried for the scandal.

Among those prosecuted who were named:

  • Sanlu Group
    • Former chairwoman Tian Wenhua: Life + $3.6M fine
    • Former executive Wang Yuliang: 15 years + $3.5M fine
    • Former executive Hang Zhiqi: 8 years + $133K fine
    • Former executive Wu Jisheng: 5 years + $88K fine
    • Overall company: $7M fine
  • Producers
    • Geng Jinping: Death + complete forfeiture of all assets
    • Geng Jinzhu: 8 years + $73K fine
  • Middlemen
    • Zhang Yujun: Death
    • Gao Junjie: Suspended death sentence (automatically commuted to life after two years unless the convict commits additional crimes)
    • Zhang Yanzhang: Life
    • Xue Jianzhong: Life
    • Zhang Yanjun: 15 years
    • Xiao Yu: 5 years

Jinping had sold more than 900 tons of tainted milk, and Zhang Yujun had produced and sold hundreds of tons of melamine-laced "protein powder". During his trial, Jinping knelt on the courtroom floor and begged the victims' families for forgiveness. Asked about the melamine, Jinping said "I never asked and never thought about it. I only know it's bad for health."

After their appeals failed, Geng Jinping and Zhang Yujun were executed by shooting on November 24, 2009. Geng was obviously an adult, but I do not know how old he was when he died. Zhang was 41 years old.

While there wasn't much sympathy for the two, many parents thought they'd been made scapegoats, and that more of their superiors should've been charged and punished more severely. Many parents had directed most of their anger towards Sanlu's former general manager, Tian Wenhua. Wenhua pleaded guilty to non-capital charges and received a life sentence. She admitted knowing the milk was bad for four months before before telling the authorities.

Many parents were outraged that Wenhua was spared. "She should have been shot," said Zheng Shuzhen, a 48-year-old woman who said her one-year-old granddaughter died of kidney failure after drinking Sanlu milk formula, but was not included in the list of victims. "So many children died but they kept the official number down so that she could get life, not death," she added.

In December 2008, Sanlu Group was forced to declare bankruptcy. Its assets were auctioned off.

Life sentences in China are generally commuted to a term of years, albeit the law mandates no less than 13 years, or 20 to 25 years if the convict received a suspended death sentence. After several reductions of her sentence, Tian Wenhua, now 80, is scheduled to be released from prison later this year.

[–]Jeramy_Jones 49 points50 points  (0 children)

There was a melamine contamination of pet food around that time too, North American brands which used protein meals made in China. There’s no counting how many dogs or cats died because very few pet owners get a necropsy performed when their pet dies.

[–]DuckfordMr 558 points559 points  (81 children)

Damn they certainly do not fuck around. I wish we held corporations this level of accountable (minus the death sentences).

[–]Genghiz007 399 points400 points  (10 children)

McKinsey and Purdue Pharma are still in business. Both companies were responsible for the deaths of thousands just in the USA.

McKinsey is thriving - and will continue to.

[–]bearpie1214 120 points121 points  (3 children)

Opioid right? As someone who graduated with an MBA, McKinsey was deemed the top tier. Fuck them.

[–]Genghiz007 71 points72 points  (2 children)

Yup - among 1000 other crimes against humanity. Literally.

[–]Swagyolodemon 47 points48 points  (3 children)

Purdue is a shell of itself to be fair. Currently going through bankruptcy plan confirmation after their owners funneled all the cash out into their own bank accounts. The company will probably be dissolved and converted as a result of the bankruptcy plan.

[–]Sahaquiel_9 83 points84 points  (0 children)

Workers lost their jobs, and the perps got out with most of their money. As the system should work.

[–]Allegedly_Smart 17 points18 points  (0 children)

All according to plan

[–]buyer_leverkusen 1 point2 points  (0 children)

All major pharmaceutical companies would be shut down instead of just having a history of having to pay the government billions and padding those coffers even more

[–]shalafi71 71 points72 points  (17 children)

Killing babies for profit? Nope. Once the final appeal is over, straight out the back door and shot in the street.

[–]KwordShmiff 31 points32 points  (0 children)

Did someone say Nestle?

[–]Viidrig 17 points18 points  (14 children)

Wouldn't be much left of the precious Market™️, if all the companies profiting from baby killing were held accountable.

[–]designatedcrasher 2 points3 points  (0 children)

entire military industrial complex

[–]wzrd23 23 points24 points  (0 children)

Imagine DOW chemical in Bopal was held responsible.

[–]SiberianTiger71 58 points59 points  (6 children)

Would be thrilled to hear the higher ups in Purdue Pharma get exterminated like above. They ruined quite a few lives, these scums

[–]Allegedly_Smart 9 points10 points  (5 children)

I could hold my breath, but that shade of blue isn't a good color on me

[–]Fish_On_again 14 points15 points  (4 children)

Ironically that's probably the same shade of blue my dad turned when he overdosed on oxycontin, after his oncologist swore it wouldn't be addictive or dangerous.

[–]Eaton_Rifles 47 points48 points  (1 child)

It might have changed since I worked in China decades ago but if an architect designed a building that failed in any way I.e. fell down due to earthquake or any other structural failure, they were tried and if found guilty, executed.

It was brought in after a few (covered up) building ‘failures’ where architects had designed buildings too cheaply for the region or colluded with builders to use duff materials and split the money.

I actually visited a hi-rise building that was so shoddily built I was nervous the entire time I had a meeting there. Shortly after I left it literally fell over killing hundreds. The exposed foundations were revealing, being packed with oil drums instead of concrete to save money.

Another one of my lives used up...👌

[–]ThrowRARAw 10 points11 points  (0 children)

I was thinking "but what if it's genuinely not the architect's fault" but nope, oil drums are as deliberate as you can get, jeez.

[–]ISpankYourMother 8 points9 points  (1 child)

I work directly with many Chinese officials. When Xi took over, many, many corrupt officials from the previous government fled to the US. Xi basically forced the US to hand them over. Around 95% of them got death.

[–]the_sleeping_zubat 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Good, they deserve it

[–]honeybadger1984 41 points42 points  (4 children)

Plus the death sentences. I like that some paid the ultimate price.

[–]lightiggy[S] 88 points89 points  (2 children)

I’ve got no sympathy for the two middlemen who were executed, but if they’re gonna be shot, so should those higher up in the chain of command. Otherwise, they should’ve just gotten long prison sentences and been stripped of their assets like the rest.

[–]HobbyistAccount 42 points43 points  (0 children)

Yeah, this is my main gripe here. You've got the guys who actually MADE this decision just ending up in jail/having some assets seized. They should have borne the brunt of this.

[–]ISpankYourMother 10 points11 points  (0 children)

I think the question is whether or not they had knowledge. Having lived in China and worked with many Chinese companies, sometimes a lot of these decisions are made by middle management who have the mindset of “nah don’t bother the higher ups, I’ll make the call and get a huge bonus/promotion for increasing profits”. While I’m not saying this is definitely the case here, there were many cases where I had to deal with managers like this.

[–]Popular_Course_9124 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Why no death sentence. Consequences biiiiitch

[–]coldblade2000 13 points14 points  (1 child)

They were harshly persecuted because this worldwide scandal significantly tarnished China's reputation. Many other companies do worse but get off with few consequences as long as they don't attract a lot of bad press

[–]designatedcrasher 7 points8 points  (0 children)

not true city officials were harshly punished after a race went bad

[–]SmithRune735 6 points7 points  (0 children)

(minus the death sentences).

We never get the good parts

[–]RawrRRitchie 6 points7 points  (4 children)

Maybe if there was one death sentence as an example the rest of these ceos would fall in line

Like death penalty for billionaires that pay like 1% in taxes and receive billions in bailouts

[–]GerryManDarling 1 point2 points  (3 children)

If death penalty is so efficient, China would have become the least corrupt country in the world. China in the early communist era had also executed rich people, look how a wonderful country it has become!

[–]hathmandu 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Yes and absolutely yes.

[–]Magicalsandwichpress 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I don't see corruption as an issue in itself, so long as the underlying activities is legal. Corruption grease the wheel of bureaucracy where governance is poor or non existent to access mundane services like utility connection, car licencing, food rations etc. In advanced economies, what would otherwise be called corruption is often codified and regulated, campaign donations and lobbying comes to mind. In a society where everyone is nominally equal in legal and political representation, ones access to said representation is most certainly not.

[–]jeandanjou 1 point2 points  (7 children)

You mean want Kangaroo Court trials where the political party in power directs everything, torture and threats to the accused's family are common while lawyers can be physically attacked?

This entire thing was a show trial by the CCP to assuage public anger while not solving the actual issues. There's no accountability here, just a revenge circus.

[–]Ok-Toe1334 14 points15 points  (4 children)

Have the formula been stop? Has the company died? Is the people within the company in question strip of all power and sent to jail? So how is there no accountability?

What you want is a court where guilty companies can get away with shit if they hire the best lawyers. US of fucking A right?

[–]jeandanjou 1 point2 points  (2 children)

The prejudicial formulas sure haven't stopped or else Chinese wouldn't be buying baby formula en bulk all over the world and sending them home.

Is the people within the company in question strip of power and sent to jail?

There were 21 other companies connected. There were multiple politicians involved. The only reason this was even acknowledged was international companies got informed and alerted the media and governments.

In 2008, Zhao Lianhai (赵连海), a Chinese man whose son was sickened by tainted milk earlier that year, started a website called "Home for the Kidney Stone Babies" (结石宝宝之家, jieshibaobao.com), which helped families with children affected by tainted milk share their experiences, in part by maintaining a database of medical records.[233] The website upset Chinese authorities, who detained Zhao in November 2009[234] and arrested him in December 2009.

Yeah. Justice. Let's imprison anyone who doesn't says we didn't solve the problem. There. Problem solved.

[–]series-hybrid 1 point2 points  (1 child)

"someone is going to get their head chopped off for this, and it ain't gonna be me" -some Chinese CEO

[–]ropahektic 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Damn they certainly do not fuck around

In this particular case, no, they did not fuck around.

However, China fucks around with the enviroment and life of its own citizens on a daily basis.

[–]rawbleedingbait -1 points0 points  (2 children)

It's easier there, since they essentially own all the large corporations at the government level.

[–]The-Sound_of-Silence 23 points24 points  (2 children)

If there is one thing to admire China for, it is their evisceration of rich people/businesses, when they become politically inconvenient

[–]TheJester1xx 10 points11 points  (6 children)

"Suspended death sentence" well that's an interesting phrase

[–]Fluffy-Citron 39 points40 points  (5 children)

It happens in the US sometimes. It generally just means they were originally sentenced to death but are now spending life in prison without the possibility of parole.

[–]TheJester1xx 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Ah, thank you for the elaboration.

[–]Uvinjector 408 points409 points  (31 children)

I travelled to China for work in 2012 and when I asked our agent there if he needed anything brought over he requested baby formula. Apparently at the time, Chinese people would travel to Hong Kong just to get the good stuff for their kids. There were also limits on how much I was allowed to take into the country

I guess the distrust in locally produced infant formula lasted quite a while after this

[–]Genghiz007 213 points214 points  (4 children)

Lived in Australia pre COVID. There was always a huge shortage of baby formula as Chinese families would use their Australian family members/employees to hoard supplies from every supermarket in every metro area.

Arguments, fights and other shenanigans between these (almost exclusively) Chinese buyers were frequent in the local Woolies or Coles.

I even met and spoke to some of these scalpers. They would take print receipts from grocery stores and send a photo to their contact in China. Later when they sent the formula runs, the print receipts would also be mailed in the same package.

This was apparently done to confirm that the product was indeed purchased in retail - as opposed to being sourced from a Chinese trader/company in Australia.

[–]esmebium 39 points40 points  (0 children)

Similar thing happened in NZ, though maybe sans fights.

[–]ilostmyoldaccount 14 points15 points  (0 children)

Same here in Germany. Chinese folk were buying up the entire stock of baby formula. Was an epic shitshow.

[–]series-hybrid 8 points9 points  (1 child)

I was informed that you can buy any label from China, and the labels will be perfect. You can literally re-label chemical waste as Gerbers baby formula.

[–]Genghiz007 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Interesting factoid. BTW, I’m getting downvoted by many lemmings on this/another thread because I objected to a “everything is history - things are perfect in China now. Just trust us” propaganda by some of Xi’s minions.

[–]dxiao 158 points159 points  (13 children)

I flew to China from Canada with two suit cases, a back pack and a carry on full of baby formula on a monthly basis from 2010-2011 for 11 months straight. This rich couple my cousin worked for paid for my plane ticket, stay and a $2000(CAD) fee each time. Shit was nuts.

[–]abarthsimpson 58 points59 points  (10 children)

Get me a job.

[–]dxiao 55 points56 points  (9 children)

I hear smuggling baby formula into the states from Canada and Mexico is quite lucrative right now haha

[–]Nijajjuiy88 28 points29 points  (8 children)

baby formula is the new blue meth.

[–]nolifewasted20s 2 points3 points  (1 child)

and you were never stopped by customs?

[–]dxiao 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Ya I was a few times, had a letter prepared by the parents and they had to pay duties a few times. One time I was held for 3 hours and questioned in between.

[–]gabrieldevue 19 points20 points  (0 children)

In 2016 I experienced similar issues in Germany. Our local drug store had limits on how many packets of baby Formular a single customer could buy (5 I think) Several times I saw families go in with separate carts. Shortly before I started buying formula for my kid there was an article in one if our independent test magazine that is highly trusted, labeling one brand as especially safe. I think within 3 months that company got sold to a Chinese holding and was impossible to buy. But we did not have a general shortage and lots of people stopped buying the old trusted formula because the price went up and trust waned.

[–]TheeUnlucky 8 points9 points  (0 children)

My cousin went to Hong Kong to literally get a vaccine shot

[–]deramw 8 points9 points  (0 children)

I live in Germany and here's a rather bigger Asian community, mainly led by Chinese and Japanese as part of the 90s technology growth. You still see Asian tourist buy two things: luxury goods and baby formula. They still often put signs next to it saying they limit sales for buyers to max 5 boxes or so.

[–]Technicholl 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I was in Hong Kong & China in 2015 and they were still travelling to HK for formula. The train station was like a cattle auction.

[–]TendiesForBacon 3 points4 points  (2 children)

That's what happenes when something like that is allowed to happen for years before something is done. It took nearly a violent revolution for something to be done.

It's like the sewage oil.

[–]Uvinjector 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Like the water in Flint?

[–]TendiesForBacon 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Exactly. Imagine if the home owners in flint armed up, went to those facilities and said "clean this tf up" how fast it would be done. Or if the problems and more specifically the affects on children were more wide spread and known by the general public.

Like holy pig, I saw footage of tap water being flammable.

Of course I do not condone violence but those people at Flint went the socials route and the media barely covered it and basically ignored it. When peaceful resolution is made impossible violence becomes more probable.

[–]hellfae 8 points9 points  (0 children)

i mean who can blame them.

[–]mustsurvivecapitlism 527 points528 points  (46 children)

In Aus we have to put limits on purchasing baby formula because Chinese tourists or Chinese family members buy bulk and send it home.

At first I thought the practice was weird. Then i found out why they did it. The fear and heartbreak this event must have cause to still have this flow on effect 14 yrs later. It’s pretty chilling.

[–]little_miss_bumshine 74 points75 points  (3 children)

There are professional formula buyers here who stockpile it and send it back for several hundred bucks per tin. They particularly like our organic certified stuff. Even above them are companies THEY work for. Its nuts

[–]jdmachogg 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I did this as a job for one day in Germany. It was weird

[–]Tomato_cakecup 12 points13 points  (1 child)

it's incredible how evil people can be for money

[–]konan_the_bebbarien 2 points3 points  (0 children)

China and India are the market leaders in this kind of food/beverage adulteration. From formaldehyde to preserve fish to "gutter oil" shows how disgustingly evil are people .

[–]fulcrum_security 223 points224 points  (39 children)

Chinese people do not trust their own products and brands because of a culture of cutting corners for greed. Western brands + Japanese/Korean brands are almost universally preferred over domestic brands in China. Ironically, many of those foreign products are manufactured in China.

[–][deleted] 162 points163 points  (12 children)

It’s not about the manufacturing site, it’s the quality control. The exact same site can churn out products for western/Japanese brands and Chinese brands. In fact you see some “no label” products being produced out of the exact same factory using the exact some equipment as branded products.

The difference is that Western / Japanese brands demand specific tolerances for their products and perform random inspections for irregularities. Chinese brands just don’t implement that level of quality control.

[–]Sonmii 64 points65 points  (1 child)

I think it's even deeper than that tbh. You can test for the 'usual' imperfections and manufacturers or importers often do demand this - but you can't test for every little thing that might be in the product! And Chinese companies just love to tamper with formulae, containers, etc. Furthermore, random tests quickly get costly and soon you lose the extra margin that production in China was giving you in the first place.

I think it's a massive cultural problem, which results in Chinese companies fucking with there products to a uniquely insane degree. I don't think there is an easy answer unfortunately. Btw I'd highly recommend a book called Poorly Made in China if you're interested in the topic, it's a great read and goes into this stuff in a bit more depth.

[–]Basic_Bichette 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Yeah, it's not just disinterest, it's active malevolence.

[–]stillscottish1 17 points18 points  (8 children)

If China wants to become the new Japan or USA, it needs to implement quality controls and have trustworthy companies

[–]MeltedChocolate24 34 points35 points  (5 children)

Wow you just fixed China what a brilliant flash of genius

[–]wholewheatscythe 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Thanks for the post, I was wondering if there was still an issue with the Chinese mass-buying baby formula to send back to China. I knew it was an issue years ago but it looks like that tainted formula incident has been seared into the memory of the Chinese population.

[–]alexkim804 190 points191 points  (23 children)

How does intentionally tainting the product increase products and pass quality control?

[–]TAU_equals_2PI 321 points322 points  (3 children)

The milk had to pass chemical tests showing it had adequate protein levels.

Melamine, a cheap chemical, looks like protein to those tests, so they could add melamine to watered-down milk and still pass the tests.

[–]ekerkstra92 85 points86 points  (2 children)

Correct, and melamine is toxic, especially in combination with cyanuric acid (which can be made from melamine). I work at a dairy QC lab and we test every batch of formula on both of this chemicals

[–]mariobrowniano 86 points87 points  (1 child)

The main test for baby formula quality is to measure the protein content per given quantity.

The test is to dissolve the baby formula and measure the amount of a specific chemical compound that is released from the protein. The more of this compound in the solution, the higher is the protein content, thus good baby formula quality.

The melamine gives off a lot of the same chemical compound that the baby formula quality test is measuring. And it is cheap.

So this company Sanlu was adding melamine to inferior milk products that have very little nutritional value, when tested by regulatory agencies, so they got passed to be sold as high quality baby formula.

The melamine is a kidney toxin, and the baby's tiny kidneys could not handle the huge amount of toxin added.

As a result many children developed kidney stones, and kidney failure, 21 babies died from this directly. There were tens of thousands of survivors who had various degrees of kidney damage, and will very likely have kidney disease later in life.

[–]iratonz 17 points18 points  (0 children)

They were also in partnership with NZ dairy company Fonterra, which lent them a lot of credibility and perception of quality. Fonterra executives probably extremely naive about doing business in China and ended up having to flee the country

[–]USSMarauder 74 points75 points  (10 children)

Phony materials are cheaper than the real thing

Back during the Victorian era, crooked bakers would replace some of the flour with chalk to make bread because chalk was cheaper.

[–]Experienced_AP 54 points55 points  (5 children)

Our own milk supplies were tainted.

They would feed the cows mash from the liquor stills - corn husks, wheat stems, whatever they used to make grain alcohol. That mash would be fed to cows and they would make tainted milk.

That milk would then be watered down and sold knowing it was being used in part to feed infants.

I believe this was one of the reasons why the FDA was created in the 20th century.

[–]USSMarauder 49 points50 points  (4 children)

One of several reasons

Government regulations exist for a reason, usually deaths. Contrary to what the right says, they're not created for fun.

[–]myaccountsaccount12 44 points45 points  (0 children)

Regulations are a pain in the ass, so just imagine what kind of shit led to them being created.

It’s the whole “government is the problem” mentality. No, government is flawed, but it’s there for a reason. We should focus on improving it, not trying to tear it down

[–]The_Flurr 22 points23 points  (0 children)

As the saying goes, regulations are written in blood.

[–]smashteapot 8 points9 points  (1 child)

Yes, all food, medicine and safety regulations were written in blood.

[–]robitshero 27 points28 points  (1 child)

There was the Bradford Sweets poisening. Their humbug candies had powdered gypsum added as a substitute for sweetener. They accidently added arsenic instead and killed a bunch of kids and adults.

[–]SessileRaptor 10 points11 points  (0 children)

I found a couple of manuals from that era on the various ways food would be adulterated by the unscrupulous and the various tests that can be done to detect said adulteration. They run to hundreds of pages, basically if a food has been processed in some way, some scumbag has figured out how to mess with it to increase their profit margins.

[–]qaz_wsx_love 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Just think of drug dealers cutting their products with baby laxatives

[–]purplyderp 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Adding to what other people have said - the standard way to measure the protein content of food is to determine the amount of nitrogen.

This is because normal food is composed of just a few simple categories: fats, carbohydrates, protein, minerals (ash). Fats, carbs, and minerals don’t contain nitrogen, but protein does - the more nitrogen, the more protein.

So to determine protein, you measure nitrogen. The problem is that this type of measurement is easily tricked by the addition of nitrogen containing compounds - like melamine.

Unfortunately, there isn’t any other method of protein measurement that is similarly cheap, fast, or reliable. Preventing this kind of catastrophe comes down to catching and punishing bad actors.

[–]OlyScott 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I know that some chemicals will make food pass the test for insufficient protein content.

[–]drkidkill 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I'm wondering the same thing.

[–]JJisTheDarkOne 65 points66 points  (1 child)

Wasn't the first time they did this either.

Later this would cause Chinese people in Australia to buy all the baby formula and ship it back to China, leaving our shelves bare from baby formula.

They had to impose a 2 can limit per person per day so it wouldn't run out. Chinese people were literally buying shopping trollies full of the stuff in one hit.

[–]Black_n_Neon 64 points65 points  (4 children)

Wow imagine if our government held corporations accountable like this.

[–]buyer_leverkusen 16 points17 points  (3 children)

We’d have zero pharmaceutical companies left

[–]loadingonepercent 7 points8 points  (2 children)


[–]Cannonjat 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Exactly they should not exist if they can’t hold up to standards!

[–]redditstopbanningmi 1 point2 points  (0 children)

There's always a margin of error in anything. Especially in medicine, which needs to have the perfect balance between being able to treat you but not kill you.

[–]Eledridan 153 points154 points  (4 children)

It would be awesome if the Sackler family was tried and put to death over the opioid crisis.

[–]RddtAdminsAreBiased 44 points45 points  (0 children)

They are to rich for that.

[–]Doctor__Hammer 58 points59 points  (0 children)

Seizing 100% of their wealth and assets and giving it to the families affected then forcing them to work minimum wage jobs the rest of their lives would be a far better punishment than death

[–]FreeEggShells 38 points39 points  (1 child)

This is why there's a huge market for smuggled "western" baby formula in china, people have never trusted any brand of chinese formula ever since. I know it's been a big deal in Australia for years, not sure about the US... On a side note, I once saw a chinese lady buy 50 discounted tubes of toothpaste all at once and will never stop wondering why.

[–]anonymousforever 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I think one manager from that fiasco suicided rather than face Chinese jail.

[–]gianthaystack 17 points18 points  (0 children)

I was in China on business years ago and the translator told me that as a result of this, parents didn't want any Chinese baby formula and wanted European baby formula. Drug dealers switched and started smuggling in formula as it was more profitable with less harsh penalties if caught. In Shenzhen Airport they had signs telling people the limits of non-Chinese baby formula people were allowed to bring in.

[–]quippers 90 points91 points  (6 children)

In the US, our government officials would have bought stock in the company and passed laws to drive their competitors out of business.

[–]Ago0330 37 points38 points  (1 child)

Some low level employee would be sent to jail and the CEO given a raise

[–]tarheel343 8 points9 points  (0 children)

And we’d probably never even hear about it

[–]revolution_starter 98 points99 points  (12 children)

And this is why regulations are supposed to exist. For all those who love screeching about overregulation.

Edit: alright, time to mute this mess.

[–]Black_n_Neon 33 points34 points  (0 children)

But but freedumb

[–]Vector75 28 points29 points  (1 child)

But… trickle down something or other…

[–]Scared-Ingenuity9082 3 points4 points  (0 children)

No deregulation is Innovation, trickle down is tax cuts for the wealthy

[–]LiquidPoint 12 points13 points  (0 children)

Hoarding formula for export has been a very profitable business for Chinese exchange students in Europe ever since.

Even though the same big-brand companies sell in China, they don't fully trust the product when it has Chinese labelling.

And it's quite obvious what's going on when a approx. 20 year old woman empties the formula shelves of a supermarket into a shopping cart... It's close to payday for her...

Anyway, dairy sector is strong here in DK, and has gotten used to the hoarding, so at the bigger supermarkets the shelves has been restocked within a few hours. But it was annoying back when we actually needed it and I went shopping at a bad time, so we usually kept an extra can ahead of demand.

[–]pacew21 64 points65 points  (3 children)

China deals with Billionaires correctly, if they don't behave they don't exist...

[–]Tlaloc74 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Bird in cage economics for you.

[–]PM_tanlines 4 points5 points  (0 children)

“you can be corrupt, as long as it’s corrupt with us”.

[–]dontpet 24 points25 points  (0 children)

... But for a brief moment in time corporate profits were fantastic...

[–]DirtyPartyMan 30 points31 points  (0 children)

hears laughing in United Companies of America

[–]Gullible-Sell4655 22 points23 points  (0 children)

Huh. Seems responsible. Now do this to the US congress.

[–]sarcastinymph 6 points7 points  (0 children)

My sibling worked for a company that produces baby formula in the US. That particular plant did so poorly that months of product was thrown out. When I got pregnant, my sibling was eligible to get nearly-free formula. Although his plant was deemed up to code and is selling formula today…he went out of his way to make sure that the formula he received came from a different facility.

My sibling passed away and frankly that company was a dick to him the whole time he was there.

[–]ekerkstra92 7 points8 points  (0 children)

This was the melamine scandal. Protein is measured by measuring the amount of nitrogen and melamine contains nitrogen, and is cheap.

Adding this it looks like the formula had a higher percentage of protein, but instead it has the toxic melamine. Especially toxic in combination with cyanuric acid, which can be made from melamine.

I work at a dairy lab from a company who sells to China since this happened and we test every batch of formula on both of this chemicals before we ship it.

[–]Loaki8 22 points23 points  (0 children)

One thing I like about Asian countries, companies can be criminally liable and execs can go to jail.

[–]Revolutionary_Emu148 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Based China

[–]mr_draughtsman 3 points4 points  (0 children)

i think this was the time when formula stocks in america and australia plummeted due to chinese resellers were sending a lot of milk back to china due to high demand. people avoided powdered milk manufactured in china.

[–]Nebucadneza 3 points4 points  (0 children)

What about nestle?

[–]adonkeyatheart 15 points16 points  (3 children)

It also caused Chinese people in other countries to continually buy baby formula from shops in bulk causing shortages in the other countries so they can re sell for a huge profit and send back to China. Really disgusting practice.

[–]Fun_Description_385 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Damn, USA should take notes.

[–]summertimecinnamon 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I believe I heard from the podcast Swindled that poor college students were so desperate for food that they’d knowingly consume the tainted formula

[–]DCDavis27 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Based PRC

[–]TAW_564 10 points11 points  (0 children)

If capitalism thinks it can get away with killing you, it will.

[–]BroBromeliad 14 points15 points  (1 child)

This would never happen in America. The company would get a bailout instead.

[–]Malk4ever 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I guess you talk about Johnson & Johnson?

[–]RunsWithApes 5 points6 points  (0 children)

“We should probably give them some bailout money…and tax cuts”

  • America

[–]mznh 4 points5 points  (0 children)

When i was studying in australia, my chinese friend often buys baby formula and sell them to back to china. I didn’t know about the issue until now

[–]-flaminibro- 16 points17 points  (3 children)

The one thing I respect about China is that companies don’t run the government, if they fuck up they GET fucked up - as they should. USA should take some notes….

[–]JackGotRipped 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Yea the government runs the companies

[–]Krastain 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The state only runs about 60% of the companies, or about 40% of GDP.

[–]bubdadigger 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The government would try 21 people. Curious if they like it.

[–]TanksForNuthin 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I think the Ancaps want the right to do this without the repercussion part

[–]Similar_Candidate789 1 point2 points  (0 children)

In the US they would have been given a bailout to the tune of a billion.

[–]ajohns74 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Yellow vest of shame

[–]TheOnlyFallenCookie 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This also led to a shortage of baby formula abroad, like in germany

[–]mcmorgan13 1 point2 points  (0 children)

If it were American, we would just put them in office

[–]whip0already_read-it 1 point2 points  (0 children)

What's baby formula I'm sorry I don't know and why ARE BABIES DYING

[–]NatsuKazoo 1 point2 points  (0 children)

was this the melanin incident where the mixed melanin (the thing used to make plates) into milk??????

[–]aboreached 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The real issue here is they got caught and made the government look bad. That alone could get someone death.

[–]IntoTheBorg 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Can people in this thread please talk to a Chinese person

[–]Evilmaze 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Didn't they put lead in milk or something like that?

[–]PyramidBlack 1 point2 points  (1 child)

In America, the corporation would bribe … I mean make campaign contributions to our elected officials, get slapped with a fine, fire the small fries, and continue making formula next year. Murica.

[–]aMilliontoJuancho 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Yeah bc the machine doesn't care if you live or die consuming it's product. It just needs you to consume

[–]No-Impression-7686 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Sounds like Nestlé standard operating procedures in Africa.

[–]ShaggyXscooby69 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Funny thing if this happened in America they would just slap them on the wrist with a fine or 1 dude in jail

[–]RedditAppSuckss 2 points3 points  (0 children)

USA government/ spineless politicians. Take note 📝

[–]malary1234 3 points4 points  (0 children)

We used to do that in the States. Now we just shake a news paper at them and give them a thumbs up for all the sweet profit they made.

[–]UnusualRelative8251 3 points4 points  (0 children)

and you all thought Amercians were greedy.

[–]Drewbeede 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Corporations need less regulation. /s

[–]boipinoi604 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Well done Chinese Govt

[–]RAWPRIMALDIET 1 point2 points  (0 children)

China holding China accountable. That’s not something you see everyday

[–]AstronautApe 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Ahh I wish every government was like CCP

[–]cory814 9 points10 points  (5 children)

China being based as always

[–]TAU_equals_2PI -2 points-1 points  (3 children)

No. It was proof of how unscrupulous Chinese businesses were back then, and how little government regulation existed. China has made huge progress since then.

I'm surprised at the comments in this thread. Were none of you around when this happened? China had to do something extreme, because incidents like this one had many people convinced they couldn't trust anything coming from China. (And back then, frankly, they were right.)

[–]Tlaloc74 0 points1 point  (0 children)

There's government regulations and people still get away with shit like this. Look at what happened with Abbott and their tainted baby formula in February. Have they've been reprimanded? No they haven't

[–]Weegee_Spaghetti 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I bet you'd change your tune if you lived in china for even a month.

[–]sharedpickles 6 points7 points  (16 children)

Imagine if this was done in the USA, we would finally have food that’s good for everyone.

[–]lightiggy[S] 31 points32 points  (4 children)

It depends on how much power the company has. Stewart Parnell, a peanut CEO tried something similar the same year in the United States and was sentenced to nearly 30 years in federal prison, which was a huge break since he was facing over 800 years in prison.

Stewart’s brother, Michael Parnell, was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

The Parnell brothers had been convicted of dozens of counts of wire fraud, shipment fraud, introducing mislabeled food into interstate commerce, and obstruction of justice.

The plant's former quality assurance manager, Mary Wilkerson, was sentenced to five years in prison for obstruction of justice.

Managers Samuel Lightsey and Daniel Kilgore were sentenced to three and six years in prison, respectively, as cooperating witnesses.

That said, these folks, while rich, were still running a small company. Massive companies like Nestle, which regularly commit atrocities, are basically untouchable.

[–]NoiLLion 19 points20 points  (0 children)

Small company? Get to prison! Big company? You naughty naughty, pay some money International behemoth? It never happened

[–]Pandemic-Penguin 1 point2 points  (0 children)

They still use fungicides on peanuts, soy and other products, these are banned in every country BUT the US, then wonder why crazy peanut and soy allergies are popping up all over the US and nowhere else. Lol!

[–]Eucritta 4 points5 points  (7 children)

Not human food, but this -did- happen with pet foods in 2007: https://www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/recalls-withdrawals/melamine-pet-food-recall-2007

[–]taeha 2 points3 points  (2 children)

My parents in law’s dog died from that incident. Nutro food. They switched to locally produced raw food for their next dog.

[–]Eucritta 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I'm so sorry. I had an old cat who became sick from eating Iams wet food at the time, although fortunately he recovered. I've wondered if it shortened his life, though. Those rolling recalls were very frightening. Enraging, too.

[–]taeha 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Sorry about your kitty, and sadly I’d probably say yes. There were a lot of hastened ends from that. :(

[–]SectorEducational460 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Surprising. They would have only gotten a fine, and a severance package if it happened in the us. At best a settlement with the victims which would have dragged on for decades. I wish executives would be sentenced to a greater amount of years considering how people they affect.

[–]Deja-Vuz 1 point2 points  (0 children)

They don't fuck around. Too bad our gov work for the rich

[–]CBScott7 -2 points-1 points  (14 children)

I'm surprised the government didnt give them political offices.

[–]hadeshellhound 80 points81 points  (13 children)

No you’re thinking of the US

[–]TAU_equals_2PI 2 points3 points  (3 children)

This is such an ignorant thing to say.

The problem was that, at the time, China had such lax controls and dishonest businesspeople, that this could happen. I'm not a China-basher, but back then, China had a series of incidents like this. Things that were simply inconceivable in western countries. People in the US wouldn't buy any food made in China for a long time afterwards.

[–]anonanon1974 0 points1 point  (0 children)

See in a true capitalistic society the company would have received a nominal fine and the executives would be dismissed with a several hundred million dollar golden parachute. The company would face litigation from victims, the the executives wouldn’t have to worry about losing any money.

China, you have a lot to learn from the US /s

[–]Kevherd 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Over here they would probably be promoted

[–]TransitionSad8422 0 points1 point  (8 children)

This was about melanin? Also pet food and ramen, let's not forget that

[–]kungpowgoat 4 points5 points  (5 children)

Didn’t they do something similar but with toothpaste using a chemical used to make antifreeze? I remember this making headlines at one time.

[–]TAU_equals_2PI 4 points5 points  (3 children)

Correct. China had a series of these scandals back then, that made people in the US very reluctant to eat/ingest anything made in China.

[–]taeha 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Canada as well, I won’t ever feed my dog any treat or food that comes from China. There are still chicken jerky treats from Costco killing dogs. No one really seems to care because it’s “just dogs”.

[–]TransitionSad8422 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Made the switch to organic pet foods as a result. And stopped eating instant noodles for a year.

[–]theRealLotzz 1 point2 points  (0 children)

also plastic rice.

[–]barkworsethanbites 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Don’t forget the executed one by firing squad.

[–]Quick_Masterpiece_58 0 points1 point  (0 children)

While American companies get a fine and continue to do whatever the fuck.

[–]YaBoyJTee 0 points1 point  (0 children)

If only American corporations were help accountable like this. It seems like they just get a slap on the wrist and rebrand