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China screens 22.4 million babies

Jan. 12, 2009 at 6:48 PM

BEIJING, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- Chinese health officials say detailed screening has determined that 296,000 babies were sickened by milk products tainted with melamine.

An estimated 22.4 million babies who drank the tainted milk products were screened by the country's Ministry of Health, Xinhua, China's state run news agency reported Monday.

In all, 52,898 infants needed to be hospitalized with 52,582 of the babies being cured and at least six dying, said ministry spokesman Mao Qun'an.

Sixty people have been formally arrested in the scandal, with 21 of them currently on trial for allegedly adding melamine-laced "protein powder" to milk or selling the tainted milk to dairies, Xinhua reported.

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