11/23/2012, 00.00
CHINA
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Xian, the hero who denounced poisoned milk dead after a beating

Jiang Weisuo, 44, shocked China and the world with his complaints of industrial pollution in children's milk factories. In early November he had been beaten bloody by an "unknown individual." Police arrest a suspect but won't reveal the details.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) - After the beating suffered at the beginning of November, the great whistleblower Jiang Weisuo has died in a hospital; Jiang had shocked China and the world with his complaints of industrial pollution in children's milk factories. Jiang, the 44 year old former general manager of a milk collection center in the northwestern province of Shaanxi, passed away on Nov. 14 at a hospital in Xian. Police say they have arrested a suspect linked to the beating, but will not reveal his name.

The national media had dubbed him "the main source" on the scandals related to the Chinese dairy industry: since 2006 he had denounced malpractice by various companies.

In 2006 Jiang, a former farmer, revealed that his own colleague in another company used a washing machine to mix togther substances such as antibiotics, hydrogen peroxide, nitrate and protein powder: this mixture was then combined with fresh milk supplied by the farmers and sold to distributors.

The following year, he spent about 300,000 yuan (almost 30,000 euro) for a tour of the milk production areas in the north of the country. After completing his investigation, he published a book in which he pointed the finger against the production system which, in the name of profits, spared on quality control and health controls for consumers.

Two years later, following his example, other leaders denounced the use of melamine in infant formula. But it was too late: 6 children died of poisoning and another 3,000 were operated on or treated for liver problems. After this scandal, the whole system fell under suspicion, and consumer confidence fell to record lows. Still today, some dairy products are viewed with great suspicion and remain unsold.

 

 

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