China: 6 babies may have died from tainted milk

BEIJING (AP) -- China's Health Ministry says six babies may have died from tainted milk, up from a previous official figure of three deaths.

The ministry says health authorities across the country found six possible cases of deaths in babies caused by milk powder contaminated with the industrial chemical melamine.

It said 294,000 infants in total have suffered from urinary illnesses after consuming tainted milk, up from a previous figure of about 50,000 babies.

Tainted milk was previously blamed for the deaths of at least three babies. The ministry's statement Monday did not say whether the three cases were included in the new total.

China's worst food safety scandal in years prompted authorities to announce a complete overhaul of its dairy industry to improve safety.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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