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China dairy producers to compensate melamine milk victims

[JURIST] The Chinese Dairy Industry Association [Light Industry backgrounder] announced Saturday that 22 companies will provide financial compensation to families whose infants were harmed by melamine-contaminated milk [JURIST news archive]. Families will receive a one-time payment of an unspecified amount, and may recover further for any future related medical expenses. In a statement quoted by the state-run Xinhua news agency, the association said: "The enterprises offered to shoulder the compensation liability. By doing so, they hope to earn understanding and forgiveness of the families of the sickened children."

News of melamine-contaminated milk first broke in September [Guardian report], leading to massive recalls [BBC report] and bankrupting the government-owned Shijiazhuang Sanlu Group Co. [Research and Markets profile], whose general manager and board chairwoman is scheduled to face trial next Wednesday. The contaminated milk has left six dead and 294,000 ill, according to the Ministry of Health [government website]. Six criminal trials [JURIST report] related to the scandal began Friday.

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