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Tainted Milk, Medicine Draw Chinese Attention


Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao says his government is partly responsible for the tainted milk scandal that has killed four infants and sickened 53,000 throughout the country.

In an interview in the U.S. publication Science Magazine, Mr. Wen said the government was responsible for monitoring the industry at the core of the crisis.

He told the magazine the production of milk, and manufactured goods all need to have clear standards and testing requirements.

Meanwhile, the Chinese maker of an injectable ginseng-based medication which killed three people has voluntarily widened its recall.

Wandashan Pharmaceutical is pulling all its other injection products from pharmacy shelves.

Chinese authorities, earlier this week, recalled two batches of an injectable herbal drug produced by Wandashan Pharmaceutical from Siberian ginseng.

The injections were blamed for killing three people and leaving three more seriously ill in southwestern Yunnan province.

Elsewhere, Hong Kong's Center for Food Safety Saturday warned people to avoid Munchy's Mini Crackers which it found to contain unsafe levels of melamine.

Munchy Foods Industries, the Malaysian company which makes the crackers, posted a notice on its Web site saying the crackers are safe and contain no ingredients from China.

China has ordered all liquid and powdered milk made before September 14 be taken off store shelves so it can be tested for melamine.

The chemical is used primarily in plastics, fertilizers and flame retardants. Chinese authorities say it was added to milk products to make them appear richer in protein.

Melamine can cause kidney stones, and in some cases can lead to life-threatening kidney failure.

China's State Food and Drug Administration halted further sales of Wandashan Pharmaceutical's intravenous drugs Friday.

Authorities blamed bacterial contamination in the injections which are used to treat liver, kidney and heart conditions.

An investigation is underway to determine how the drugs became contaminated.

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