It appears that Sanlu, the Chinese company whose tainted powered baby milk has sickened at least 53,000 children, failed to report complaints about the product since last December.  The government today has blamed tainted milk products for four deaths.  In addition, 12,892 children remain hospitalized with kidney problems and 104 of them in serious condition.  According to other reports, several other milk products, including baby milk from Yili and Nestles, may also be tainted.

On our way back from the Great Wall today (lead by our great guide Wang He – “Mike”), we stopped into a small village, Bei Shi Cao Cun, and I was able to buy Yili’s and Nestle’s baby milk.  Sanlu’s shelf was empty.  So, what would Mao have done to have prevented this crisis?  Mao once said:

“If we have shortcomings, we are not afraid to have them pointed out and criticized, because we serve the people. Anyone, no matter who, may point out our shortcomings. If he is right, we will correct them. If what he proposes will benefit the people, we will act upon it.”

Perhaps it is time to pay a bit more attention to the Chairman?

So far China’s product-safety watchdog chief, Li Changjiang has resigned.  Also fired were Wu Xianguo, the top Communist official in Shijiazhuang and the city’s mayor and several other government officials.   To date, 18 people have been arrested, including the sacked head of Sanlu Group, with dozens detained for questioning.

But, will that be enough to to protect Chinese children, and children in other areas of the world?  So far, Philippines, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Brunei, Burundi, Gabon, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Taiwan and Tanzania are all urging parents to not feed baby milk with ‘made in China’ markings.  Perhaps the loss of the infant formula market will get the government of corpoate officials to dust off Mao’s "Little Red Book."