2 Feb 2009

Jailed China milk scandal chief appeals sentence

9:03 pm on 2 February 2009

The former chairwoman of the Sanlu Group, jailed for life over China's melamine-tainted milk scandal in which at least six children died, has formally appealed against her sentence.

China's state run Xinhua news agency quoted the Tian Wenhua's lawyer saying her trial lacked evidence.

Ms Tian was convicted last year at Shijiazhuang Intermediate People's Court of manufacturing and selling fake or substandard products. She was sentenced to life last month and fined 24.7 million yuan.

Two men were sentenced to death and three former Sanlu executives received jail terms of five to 15 years.

The court ruled Ms Tian authorised the sale of products that contained 10mg of melamine in every 1kg of milk, Xinhua said.

Nearly 300,000 children fell ill last year after drinking milk laced with melamine, a toxic industrial compound that can give a fake positive on protein tests.

Sanlu is part owned by New Zealand dairy company Fonterra.

Last week the company denied that a document supplied by one of its directors may have suggested it was acceptable for Sanlu to continue using melamine.

Chief executive Andrew Ferrier said Sanlu had been told explicitly that the only acceptable level was zero.