Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is appalled at the latest media order issued by
Guangdong Province Propaganda Department banning independent reporting on a new
toxic melamine milk scandal.
According to local sources, the
order states that all media outlets must only use information formally released
by the authorities. The order does not, however, specify which authorities are
responsible for publishing the information.
No relevant information is currently
available on the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and
Quarantine, the supervisory department for all food products in China.
The ban comes as melamine-tainted
milk products were reported to have been found on sale in China.
In 2008, at least six children died
and another 300,000 suffered illness after milk products were found to be
tainted with the industrial chemical melamine.
“Yet another ban on media conducting independent
reporting about a major public health issue in China, and the failure of authorities
themselves to make vital information available, raises further concerns about prioritising
censorship over the wellbeing of citizens,” IFJ General Secretary Aidan White said.
“China’s Central Government must
intervene immediately to ensure that all vital information regarding the health
of citizens reaches the public.”
Journalists and media workers
continue to face bans and harassment for any investigations or interviews
related to the 2008 incident.
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919
represents over 600,000 journalists in 125 countries worldwide