Tian Wenhua, the former general manager of Sanlu Group — the dairy at the centre of the food-safety scandal — was ordered jailed for life by the Intermediate People’s Court in Shijiazhuang. The highest-ranking official charged in the scandal, Tian pleaded guilty to charges of producing and selling fake or substandard products.
Sentenced to death were Zhang Yujun, for running a workshop that allegedly was China’s largest source of melamine, and Geng Jinping, for producing and selling toxic food. A total of 21 defendants were being sentenced on Thursday in connection with the case. Several former Sanlu executives were given five- to 15-year prison sentences.
Investigations showed that middlemen who sold milk to dairy companies were watering down raw milk, then mixing in nitrogen-rich melamine to fool quality tests for protein content. Melamine — normally used to make plastics and fertiliser — can cause kidney stones and kidney failure when ingested in large amounts.
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