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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Father of Melamine-Poisoned Child Arrested

Foreign Press announced today that Chinese police detained the father of a child sickened by tainted milk apparently to prevent him and other parents from holding a news conference to complain that proposed compensation for their ill children is too low, a lawyer said Friday.  The news conference, scheduled for Friday, was called off after organizer Zhao Lianhai was picked up Thursday, said Li Fangping, a lawyer for some of the parents. He said Zhao was being held at a Beijing hotel.  "The purpose was to prevent the parents from holding a news conference," Li said, adding that 10 parents had planned to participate.  The parents "said the compensation was unilaterally set by the companies with no participation from victims’ families," Li said. "They thought the amount of compensation was quite low."  Under the plan, families whose children died would receive 200,000 yuan ($29,000), while others would receive 30,000 yuan ($4,380) for serious cases of kidney stones and 2,000 yuan ($290) for less severe cases, according to state media.  Another 200 million yuan ($29 million) would go to a fund to cover bills for lingering health problems.