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China dairy association:90% of tainted milk victims compensated
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07:15, January 24, 2009

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About 90 percent of the families of the victims in the country's tainted milk scandal have been compensated, the China Dairy Industry Association said Friday.

As of Thursday, families of 262,662 children who were sickened after drinking the melamine-contaminated milk products had signed compensation agreements with involved enterprises and accepted compensation, the association said, without saying how much the compensation was.

Among the families of six dead children and 891 other infants who were seriously sickened, all except two had accepted compensation, it said.

Families of 23,651 sickened children have yet to be reached mainly because of wrong or untrue registration of names, the association added.

Currently, only a handful of families of sickened children wanted to realize their rights and interests by lawsuits and did not accept compensation, it said.

The Ministry of Health has put the number of infants who died after drinking melamine contaminated milk products at six. Another296,000 infants suffered kidney stones and other urinary problems.

In a letter sent to victims last month, Sanlu Group, which was at the center of the scandal and faces bankruptcy, and 21 other dairy companies offered 200,000 yuan for families whose children died, 30,000 yuan for serious cases such as kidney stones and acute kidney failure, and 2,000 yuan for less severe cases.

The dairy producers also set up a fund to pay the medical bills from the sickened children until they reach the age of 18.

On Thursday, two men who produced or added melamine-laced "protein powder" to milk were sentenced to death by a court in Shijiazhuang City, Hebei Province where Sanlu was based. Nineteen others, including Sanlu's former general manager Tian Wenhua, were given sentences ranging from a suspended death sentence to two years in jail.

Source: Xinhua

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