Shanghai dairy firm executives fail in appeal against melamine verdicts

11:47, April 24, 2010      

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A Shanghai court Friday upheld the convictions and jail terms of three dairy company managers who deliberately used melamine-contaminated milk in dairy products.

The First Intermediate People's Court rejected appeals by the former executives of the Shanghai Panda Dairy Company, and issued a ruling stating the initial verdicts were handed down on the basis of verified, abundant evidence and in accordance with legal procedures.

Wang Yuechao, Hong Qide and Chen Dehua were jailed and fined after a first trial March 3 at the Fengxian District People's Court of Shanghai.

Wang and Hong appealed their convictions on the grounds that they were ignorant of the details of the production process, while Chen appealed his sentence on the grounds that it was excessive.

The three were convicted of deliberately making milk flavoring with melamine-tainted condensed milk that was returned by a dealer from the southeastern province of Fujian in the wake of the 2008 toxic milk powder scandal.

Wang, former corporate representative and deputy general manager of Shanghai Panda, was sentenced to five years and fined 400,000 yuan (58,823 U.S. dollars).

Hong, former general manager, was sentenced to four years and six months and fined 300,000 yuan.

Chen, former deputy general manager, was sentenced to three years in jail and fined 200,000 yuan.

Shanghai Panda Dairy was shut down after its milk powder and milk flavoring were found to contain excessive amounts of melamine in April last year. The three were officially arrested in June.

Melamine can cause kidney stones and kidney failure. It was added to milk to deceive protein tests.

The toxic milk powder scandal in 2008 killed at least six infants and sickened 300,000 children across China. Milk powder from 22 dairy plants, including Shanghai Panda Dairy, was then found to have excessive melamine.

Contaminated milk resurfaced last year after some dairy plants used leftover melamine-tainted milk powder that should have been destroyed in 2008.

Source: Xinhua


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