China tries new communications, old-style detainments

A group of Chinese dairy firms used some modern means to say, “we’re sorry” for killing and poisoning babies with melamine-contaminated milk, at the same time the Chinese government went back to detaining folks it doesn’t agree with.

The 22 firms sent a new year text message to millions of mobile phone subscribers apologizing for the melamine contamination scandal. The companies have asked forgiveness for the contamination of their products, which killed at least six babies and made almost 300,000 people ill.

Also today, Zhao Lianhai, the father of a child sickened by tainted milk, was detained by police to prevent a news conference by parents to complain that proposed compensation for their ill children is too low

Li Fangping, a lawyer for some of the parents, said,

"They said the compensation was unilaterally set by the companies with no participation from victims’ families. They thought the amount of compensation was quite low."

A farmer whose son suffered kidney stones and liver damage told The Associated Press this week the compensation wouldn’t even cover his medical expenses.