Hong Kong Girl Drinks Contaminated Milk

By: AP
By: AP

BEIJING, China (AP) -- A 3-year-old Hong Kong girl has been diagnosed with a small kidney stone after drinking Chinese-produced milk contaminated with an industrial chemical, but is in good condition and does not require surgery, a hospital official said Sunday.

A baby is held down as he is given an ultrasound scan for kidney stones in a hospital in Wuhan, Hubei province.

It is the first sickness reported outside mainland China in a scandal involving dairy products containing melamine which have killed four children and sickened more than 6,200 others.

The girl had no symptoms of kidney disease, so she was discharged from the hospital without surgery or medication, a spokeswoman for Princess Margaret Hospital told The Associated Press. The spokeswoman only gave her surname, Ma, in line with hospital policy.

Some kidney stones pass naturally, and doctors will monitor the girl's condition, Ma said.

The girl had been drinking two or three cups of low-fat milk made by the Chinese dairy Yili Industrial Group Co. every day for the past 15 months, the government said in a statement. Watch CNN visit the company at the center of the scandal »

Mainland authorities have recalled milk and dairy products from 22 Chinese companies -- including Yili and Mengniu Dairy Group. Co. -- after samples were found to contain melamine. Learn more about the chemical melamine »

The Hong Kong government and individual retailers and dairy companies have also tested local inventories and issued recalls in the separately ruled Chinese territory.

On Sunday, the Hong Kong government said its tests have found melamine in Chinese-made Nestle brand milk and ordered the product recalled.

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The government said in a statement that the chemical was found in Nestle's Dairy Farm brand milk for catering use. It said the milk was made by Nestle Qingdao Ltd., located in the Chinese coastal city Qingdao.

The tests found only a small amount of melamine and the milk does not pose a serious health risk, the government said. However, it recommended that it not be fed to young children.

Nestle said in a statement last Wednesday that none of its infant formula and milk powder products contained melamine.

Nestle's Hong Kong office didn't immediately respond to messages left on its general line and customer hot line. Calls to its Beijing office and Beijing hot line went unanswered.

Also Sunday, Hong Kong Disneyland said it dropped Chinese dairy Mengniu as its milk supplier at the park and its two hotels earlier this week and had temporarily replaced it with Nestle milk.

Vice President for Public Affairs B.C. Lo said the park will switch to Australian and New Zealand-made Anchor brand milk on Monday.

Lo said no park visitors have complained of illness after drinking Mengniu milk.

Melamine is used in making plastics and is high in nitrogen, which registers as protein in tests of milk. Though health experts believe ingesting minute amounts poses no danger, melamine can cause kidney stones, which can lead to kidney failure. Infants are particularly vulnerable.


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