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Tainted Chinese milk threatens lives outside of mainland

Chinese children are being increasingly affected by the national pandemic of melamine-tainted milk products throughout China.

A Hong Kong toddler has developed a kidney stone after consuming contaminated milk, according to USA Today. The toddler's illness marks the first reports of melamine illness being contracted outside of mainland China.

The tainted milk scandal continues to grow,a s it now appears, the threat has reached outside of mainland China. Additionally, due to delayed recalls and insufficient public notice, the number of children affected continues to grow.

According to USA Today, the scandal first started with complaints over the milk powder from Sanlu Group Co., as early as Aug. 8th., however, since the initial complaints, Chinese officials have found that one-fifth of the companies producing powdered baby milk use melamine in their products.

Additionally, the Chinese public was not informed of the threat until Sept. 11, over a month removed from the first complaint.

The Chinese Health Ministry announced preliminary findings Sunday, according to CNN,com, that nearly 13,000 infants and toddlers have been affected by the tainted milk. With at least four children dying as a result of the exposure to the banned chemical. The first fatality occurred on Sept. 12, according to Chinese officials.

Recently, Hong Kong's Center for Food and Safety announced that a sample of Nestle Dairy Farm Pure Milk contained traces of melamine, which is commonly found in laminates and flame retardants.

In a statement on CNN.com from Nestle, the company stated that it is "confident that none of its products in China is made from milk adulterated with melamine,"

According to USA Today, the parents of the Hong Kong girl diagnosed with kidney stones took her in for a precautionary check-up after it was learned that the families' milk was, potentially, contaminated by melamine. The child is in good condition and is expected to be released from the hospital soon.

Chinese Premier, Wen Jiabao, made a statement during a visit to a Beijing hospital, according to USA Today, ""What we need to do now is to ensure that nothing like this happens in the future, not only in dairy products but in all food," Wen said.