The New Zealand dairy company, Fonterra, which has a 43% share in the Chinese SanLu dairy factory, is donating $8.4 million to charity in China. SanLu baby milk formula was contaminated with melamine. Other baby milk formula has also been contaminated. Four babies have died of kidney failure and more than 40,000 babies have become sick. Some news media say the number of sick babies is more than 90,000.
One Chinese family wants to take a case to the law courts for $30,000 compensation. If they succeed, other families will follow. However, it may be difficult to know which milk powder made the babies sick because melamine was discovered in baby formula from 22 Chinese dairy companies.
The Fonterra dairy company and New Zealand farmers have been very upset by this tragedy, especially because of the effect on babies. Fonterra has about 10,000 dairy farmer owners in New Zealand so this money is around $840 for each farm. Farmers may contribute more if they want to.
Fonterra is giving the money over a five year period to a charity set up by Deng Xiaoping called the Soong Ching Ling Foundation. The money will be used to improve the health of pregnant women and babies in rural China. It will pay to teach health workers the best practice for mothers and babies, and to bring doctors and nurses to rural areas on exchange.