After blood tests of toddlers in Dapu, Hunan, showed elevated lead levels, officials requested that their parents surrender the results in exchange for milk to ‘flush out the lead.’ This naturally aroused suspicions that they were merely providing a placebo while they destroyed the records – especially seeing how milk does diddly-squat to cure lead poisoning.
“I still give my grandsons milk, but it’s useless,” said Mao Baozhu, 61, a local resident who says her three grandchildren have all been diagnosed with high lead levels. “Isn’t the resident’s committee just trying to deceive us by distributing milk and saying all the kids have to do is drink it and they’ll be cured?”
Allegations by villagers of the crude attempts by local officials to cover up the health effects of the environmental damage in Dapu by offering milk for medical records underscores the challenges China faces in waging the “war on pollution” premier Li Keqiang announced in March.
The belief that milk can treat lead poisoning is widespread in China. The National Health and Family Planning Commission recommends “nutritional intervention” for children exposed to lead because they may have nutritional deficiencies, among other treatments.
Better nutrition does not lower lead levels, though, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It recommends eliminating the source of pollution and, in extreme cases, treatment to remove heavy metals from the body.
……something pouring melamine-laced milk down kids’ throats probably won’t help.
At least they didn’t blame the ‘lead poisoning’ on pencils this time.
Half-baked cover up schemes seem to plague all sectors, with Beijing officials pawning Mordor-esque smog off as fog, health authorities blaming gay internet usage for the AIDS epidemic, and others busting out excuses that make ‘my dog ate my homework’ sound positively bulletproof.