Parents of China milk scandal victims detained

Posted Jan 2, 2009 by Kesavan Unnikrishnan
Parents of victims of the tainted milk scandal in China have accused authorities of trying to silence them by blocking a news conference. Several parents have been arrested.
A group of parents whose children were affected by melamine tainted milk last year have accused government of trying to block them from organising. The latest government action is seen as Beijing’s determination to quell unauthorised action in response to social and economic problems.
Six children have died and more than 300,000 are suffering from kidney problems after drinking milk made of milk powder tainted with melamine, an industrial chemical. Since then, several dairy firms have been closed by the authorities. Over the past several weeks, Parents have been pressing for urgent research into the long-term effects of the chemical. Many accuse government of not providing adequate compensation.
Many affected parents had come for the press conference on Friday from various provinces of China. With the organisers of the press conference arrested, they held an outdoor media conference.
A father from Sichuan province said
The government said all the medical care is free, but when it comes to the local level, things change. I have already paid more than 50,000 yuan ($7,300) for the operation and cure.
Meanwhile, the official news agency Xinhua reported that a compensation programme was underway.
After the acute disease medical treatment, if those infants develop related diseases before they are 18 years old, they can also get full reimbursement for their medical expenses from the fund