Thursday, January 22, 2009

The death penalty for selling bad milk?

That's what this teaser on the New York Times homepage* says:

Death Sentences in Chinese Milk Case

A Chinese court sentenced two men to death and a top dairy company executive to life in prison for selling tainted milk products.

Those wacky Chinese! Giving the death penalty over milk!

Now, there are a few minor details that cast a different light on the case, which you have to click the link on the NYT homepage to see. Specifically, the people who were sentenced were part of a conspiracy that "intentionally produced or sold dairy products laced with a toxic chemical called melamine," which killed six children and "caused kidney stones and other ailments in about 300,000 children last year."

I'll bet most people who skim the front-page teaser won't click the link and read the article. They'll go away with a vague impression that death sentences are given out in China for all sorts of silly reasons. So leaving out facts can be a powerful thing.

* Since I posted this, the teaser has dropped off the homepage, but the same text is on the "World" page for the time being.


Meade said...


Never drink milk milk executives won't drink.

That is always a huge red flag. Milk exec says 'no thanks,' you say no thanks.

Also, cheap "organic" garlic from China is grown in contaminated soils. It's the dirty secret of "organics" everywhere. Heavy metals. Grow your own, test your soil.

Same goes with organic e. coli salad from California and contaminated new york news articles that even the publisher won't swallow.