The poisoned milk that killed three young children last week was apparently the result of a malicious act, Chinese state media has reported. From Reuters:
Local investigators in Pingliang city said they had arrested suspects in connection with the nitrate-laden milk that caused 39 people to seek hospital care last Thursday, Xinhua news agency said. It did not give details on the suspects' identities or motives.
Nitrate, which is used to cure meat, has no use as a milk additive, the official China Daily newspaper cited a health bureau official as saying.
The three children who died after consuming the tainted milk were all under two years old. As of Sunday, 17 of the victims remained hospitalised but were in stable condition.
China's food sector has suffered from frequent poisonings and toxin scandals, and the fast-growing but fragmented dairy sector has been at the heart of those worries.