The International Federation of
Journalists (IFJ) is dismayed to learn of further orders by China’s Central Propaganda
Department against reporting on the tainted milk scandal which has swept China
and the world in the past month.
The IFJ learned that on October 10 the
Central Propaganda Department ordered media not to report on a lawsuit filed in
Yunnan province in early October against the General Administration of Quality
Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (GAQSIQ), by parents of a baby who reportedly
developed kidney stones after consuming tainted milk.
The IFJ was told that the Propaganda
Department immediately ordered all media not to report the case after several newspapers
reported on the lawsuit.
The new restrictions come after the
department earlier ordered journalists from at least four newspapers, including
Southern Metropolis Daily, to leave Shijiazhuang, Hebei
province, where milk products company Sanlu is based.
The department also issued earlier commands
that only information obtained from official government sources such as Xinhua
News Agency and China Daily could
bepublished, and orders insisting on positive reporting of the
Government’s handling of the crisis
“The tainted milk scandal is a
matter of grave concern about public health for people in China and around the world, and
journalists must be allowed to report on the crisis freely and fairly,” IFJ Asia-Pacific said.
“A free media is crucial to investigating
scandals of this kind, and resolving them in the public interest. China
is doing the world a disservice by restricting reporting on the issue.”
The IFJ urges China to withdraw the Central Propaganda
Department’s orders and to allow free reporting on the issue of contaminated
For more information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919
The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries worldwide