Death for Tainted Milk Defendants

Chinese judges dealt death sentences to a pair of convicted dairy criminals involved in the distribution of fatally tainted milk products, while other collaborators are awaiting trial, the Wall Street Journal reports. The milk contained melamine—a chemical that can cause severe organ damage—that killed six children and made over 300,000 sick. Critics of the state's handling of the case, however, blame the inadequate reach of a prosecution strategy that singles out a few scapegoats instead of confronting the issues widely believed to be at the root of the crisis: lack of government oversight. Local officials were reportedly alerted of the contamination in August, but chose to quietly remove tainted products from store shelves rather than publicly disclose the problem. The state is currently brokering an out-of-court settlement between victimized families and the dairy companies.