Whatever China may have bought in world respect by hosting the spectacular summer Olympics may now be lost by the way the People’s Republic is handing its adulteration of milk with the industrial chemical melamine.

Item One:   According to Reuters: The government has not updated figures issued on September 21, when it said that 12,892 infants were in hospital, 104 with serious illness, and close to 40,000 others were affected but did not need major treatment.  However, from local media reports Reuters estimates the total number of cases now is more like 94,000.

Item Two: Another news service says A loose-knit group of about 100 Chinese lawyers, offering free legal advice to families of sick children, has come under pressure from the government to withdraw from the cases.  The group has managed to file a lawsuit in Henan province against Sanlu Group Co., the dairy that is the center of the melamine scandal.

Besides putting pressure on the lawyers to get out, the State Council, China’s Cabinet, has imposed media controls.  The Chinese government acknowledges there was a lack of oversight of the dairy industry.

For more on the victims in China, go here.