Seventy-two tons of milk powder, tainted with the industrial chemical melamine has been found in China’s northern Ningxia region. Another 100 tons could already be in stores, according to state-run China Daily.
Chinese authorities say the tainted milk is left over from the 2008 melamine-milk scandal that killed at least six babies and left more than 300,000 ill, according to state statistics.
The Ningxia Tiantian Dairy Company received 170 tons of the tainted milk powder as a debt payment last July. The company then repackaged most of the milk, and sold it to five companies in Inner Mongolia and the southern provinces, Guangdong and Fujian.
It’s not clear whether Ningxia Tiantian knew the milk was contaminated. Authorities are still trying to track the remaining 100 tons, state-run China Daily reported on Monday.
Tainted melamine-milk products have been found across China recently, including Guizhou, Hebei, Jilin, Liaoning, Shanghai, Shaanxi and Shandong provinces.
Melamine is used for manufacturing plastics, fertilizers and adhesives. Chinese dairy suppliers have added it to milk products to make the protein content appear higher. When ingested it can cause severe health problems like kidney stones and kidney failure.