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China to Compensate Families Affected by Tainted Milk

China said it is considering a compensation plan for families whose babies were killed or sickened by melamine-tainted milk.

At least six infants were killed and about 300,000 suffered urinary problems in China after consuming a tainted milk baby formula.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Health, Mao Qun'an, told reporters on Thursday that officials are collecting medical records and other information to help prepare a compensation plan. He did not give details. But he said the ministry has paid for ultra sounds and other medical exams for babies with kidney stones and other urinary problems.

The government has identified several dairy companies that were adding the industrial chemical to milk to make it appear rich with protein.

Many families are seeking to bring the responsible companies to trial, but say the courts are blocking their petitions.

China's tainted-milk scandal broke out in September, leading to recalls and bans on a number Chinese food products worldwide. The scandal has forced the government to acknowledge safety gaps in China's food industry and to promise tough new regulations.

The government initially said about 50,000 infants were sickened. Earlier this month it said milk powder containing melamine left five times more children [294,000] with urinary tract problems.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.