BEIJING, Sept. 23 (UPI) — The tainted milk products scandal that has sickened more than 50,000 babies in China is taking a toll on the country’s dairy products exports.
Ten countries — including Taiwan, Singapore and Japan and some African countries — have banned Chinese dairy products, CNN reported.
The babies sickened by melamine-tainted milk products have been predominantly on the mainland, with one case reported in Hong Kong. Four of the sickened babies have died in China.
A World Health Organization representative told CNN the number of sick could rise.
The China Daily reported more officials and authorities are being dismissed over the scandal.
The latest to go is Li Changjiang, China’s top quality control minister, who quit taking “responsibility for the milk food contamination.” Also ousted was Wu Xianguo, communist party chief of Shijiazhuang, home of Sanlu Group, one of 22 accused producers of contaminated milk producers, the report said.
China Daily said of the 53,000 sickened babies, about 13,000 remained hospitalized across the country.
The newspaper quoted experts as saying more intense inspection is needed to ensure quality and to avoid a recurrence.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has said official misconduct contributed to the milk contamination and earlier product scandals.
“The social impact is vile and the lesson profound,” Wen told the state-run Xinhua news agency.