Just a little more than a year after the tainted milk scare was exposed in China, the dad who sounded the alarm has been sent to jail for his activism.
In 2008, Bejing resident Zhao Lianhai's young son was among the nearly 300,000 children sickened by melamine-tainted milk. Six children died and hundreds of thousands were sickened by baby formula tainted with melamine, which can cause kidney stones and kidney failure. The industrial chemical, used in the manufacture of plastics and fertilizer, was added to watered-down baby formula to increase profits and fool inspectors testing for protein.
Zhao's son, aged 3, was diagnosed with kidney stones because of the contaminated milk. Zhao set up an online forum to share information about the poisonings. Last week, the activist was convicted and sentenced to two and a half years in prison for inciting social disorder.
His sentence was not the only one handed down because of the incident. Several dairy industry figures were prosecuted and punished, including three people who were given the death penalty. Zhao, a former reporter and media advertising salesman, has been jailed since he was taken away by police in November 2009.