The 'tainted milk' scandal, which has claimed the lives of four infants and left more than 50,000 children ill in China, is now putting zoo animals in danger.
Two orangutans, aged one and three, and a lion cub are now reported to be showing signs of kidney stones after being fed the milk powder for more than a year.
The animals are from the Hangzhou Safari Park World near Shanghai.
An orangutan cub named Liu Mao is checked for kidney stones in an animal hospital in China
All had been fed with milk powder made by the Sanlu Group, which is at the centre of the scandal in which 53,000 children in China have become sick.
The news came with the revelation that Chinese officials, suppressing 'bad news' during the Olympic games, had ordered a cover-up of the scandal.
Four babies have already died from conditions brought on by drinking the milk - which was contaminated by melamine, a compound used in making plastics and added to cheat nutrition tests.
A spokesman for Hangzhou Safari Park said: 'The milk powder crisis made us very worried about the health situation of baby animals.
'We stopped feeding with Sanlu after it was found to be tainted.'
The company has said the infants became sick after drinking milk contaminated by melamine, a compound used in making plastics and added to cheat nutrition tests.
'The crystallisation now is very small, but it will grow bigger and then block the urine,' Zhang Xu, a doctor from the animal hospital where the two gorillas were being treated, was quoted as saying.
'No visible stones have been found so far,' Zhang added.
A Chinese doctor scans a chimpanzee for kidney stones
Kidney stones are small, solid masses that form when salts or minerals normally found in urine crystallise inside the kidney.
If they become large enough, they can move out of the kidney, cause infection and lead to permanent kidney damage.
The World Health Organisation and UNICEF said today China's contaminated milk powder scandal was 'deplorable' as more countries in Asia and Europe banned imports of Chinese milk products.
Beijing is battling public alarm and international dismay after close to 13,000 Chinese children became ill enough to crowd the hospitals.
'Deliberate contamination of foods intended for consumption by vulnerable infants and young children is particularly deplorable,' the World Health Organisation and UNICEF, the United Nations agency for children, said in a joint statement.
An ill baby receives treatment at a Chinese hospital yesterday. More than 54,000 babies have been affected by the toxic milk scandal
But the two agencies said Beijing's plan to overhaul its food safety would help prevent a recurrence.
'We are confident that swift and firm actions are being taken by China's food safety authorities to investigate this incident fully.'
The WHO and UNICEF also urged mothers to breast feed their infants, a need further underscored by 'alarming examples' of tainted formula scandals in China and around the world.
While the scandal has triggered arrests and official sackings in China, the repercussions began to spread overseas.
Taiwan Health Minister Lin Fang-yue tendered his resignation after 25 tonnes of potentially tainted milk powder were imported to the island, the Taiwanese Central News Agency reported.
China's poor track record in coming clean on past product safety scandals including toys, toothpaste, pharmaceutical and pet food ingredients has seriously dented the country's credibility.
Despite Beijing's reassurances its milk products are now safe and the situation was under control, several countries continued to take steps against milk imports from there.
India became the largest and most populous country to announce a ban on Chinese milk and milk products today, with the ban to remain in force for three months.
Filipino officials inspect imported bottled milk products from China in Manila
Vietnam and Nepal halted sales of all Chinese milk products and would now increase testing of such imports. Vietnam health officials warned tainted Chinese milk may have been sold in its remote, impoverished central region.
South Korea started from yesterday to recall products with melamine after the Korea Food and Drug Administration found tainted rice cookies made for a South Korean confectionary by one of its divisions in China.
Singapore said it had tested melamine in five more products including two Dutch Lady fruit-flavoured milk products.
Kraft Foods took out a full-page advertisement in Singapore's Straits Times newspaper to say its Oreo products were safe and did not contain milk ingredients from China.
Global coffee giant Starbucks said it had started using fresh milk from a Hong Kong milk supplier in 55 of its stores in southern China, ditching its usual China supplier.
In Europe, France banned all food items containing Chinese milk products. The European Food Safety Authority is expected to announce this week whether processed items containing milk products from China pose a risk.
In the latest update by China's quality control agency on its website (国家质量监督检验检疫总局门户网站), it said 235 samples of carton milk and drinking yoghurt produced since Sept. 14 and sold across the country had shown no signs of the toxic chemical melamine.
Nitrogen-rich melamine can be added to substandard or watered-down milk to fool quality checks, which often use nitrogen levels to measure the amount of protein in milk.
The chemical is used in pesticides and in making plastics.
So far, four deaths have been blamed on kidney stones and agonising complications caused by the toxic milk.
Now the apes fall victim to China toxic milk scandal as officials admit cover-up during Olympics | Mail Online