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China probes schools over unauthorised medicine for toddlers

Published on Mar 21, 2014 3:20 PM

BEIJING (Reuters) - China has launched a nationwide inspection of schools amid rising public anger at revelations that many educational institutions secretly gave children medicine to ward off illnesses and boost attendance, state media said on Friday.

No deaths have been reported, but food and drug safety for toddlers is a highly sensitive issue in China after at least six children died and thousands were sickened in 2008 from drinking milk contaminated with melamine, an industrial chemical.

Local governments have been ordered to inspect schools and particularly kindergartens, to check if they were illegally administering any medicine, the official China Daily said, citing a health ministry notice.

A string of reports since last week has revealed that at least six kindergartens in three provinces gave toddlers a cheap antiviral drug without informing their parents.

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