by DA XIONG
BEIJING (China Daily Show) – Panic gripped communities with adolescent children across China this weekend, after a possible link between a popular milk drink and breast growth in teenage females was reported by netizens.
Boxes of Mei Lan Milky Joy, a lunchbox-sized milk-based beverage available in strawberry, hawthorn and bitter melon flavour were last night being hurriedly pulled from shelves after an advert in the state-owned Lactose Daily inadvertently boasted that the product contained “60 percent less protein and four times as much oestrogen as the more expensive Western versions.”
Once news of the advert spread across the Internet, horrified parents immediately forbade their children from drinking Mei Lan Milky Joy. Meanwhile, reports emerged across the country suggesting that over three hundred girls, aged between 15 and 20, had developed breasts at some point after consuming Milky Joy.
Breast dimensions beyond those of reasonably sized marbles are officially classed as “foreign appendages” in China, and subject to import taxes. In recent years, officials have also moved to halt a surge in gender-reassignment therapy among rural women, where many claimed that breast growth was the first indication that they weren’t simply suspiciously attractive boys.
The sudden onset of breast growth has baffled Chinese scientists and medical professionals.
“We don’t understand why so many young Chinese women were developing breasts, like foreigners have,” remarked government scientist Zhang Jun. “It is an accepted genetic fact that Asian women do not grow breasts that amount to more than aspirins on an ironing board, yet these girls were arriving at our hospitals jugged-up and ready to go.”
“Chinese women have historically never had much up top or round the back,” said noted philanthropist, historian and Sinologist Sir William Buckfast. “Even famously dumpy beauties, like Tang Dynasty concubine Yang Guifei, hardly had the kind of cleavage you might imagine skiing down, or comparing to a dead heat in a Zeppelin race.”
Government scientists have since called for calm, pointing out that the vast majority of female Milky Joy consumers remain as flat-chested as ever.
Mei Lan Healthy Rigor Company has issued a statement refuting the claims and insisting that productions standards at its Fish Eyes, Scales and Lips By-Product Processing Plant in Sha’anxi Province, where Milky Joy is manufactured, conform to Chinese standards.
As brassiere manufacturers look forward to record profit projections, parents’ groups remain dissatisfied by the government response.
“How do I tell my daughter that, in all likelihood, she’ll never look good in male clothing?” was the anguished cry of one Guangzhou mother.
The allegations are but the latest to rock an industry long tainted with manufacturing scandals. China’s emerging consumer market is becoming more upfront about its rights, demanding prosecution for those who flout laws in search of profits and using their new spending power to buy more trusted foreign goods.
Only last October, the government was forced to recall five million cartons of Huiyuan orange juice when it was revealed that it could etch solid steel. And in January, it was confirmed that all Changyu brand wine produced before 2009 had been “inadvertently” bottled using a large shipment of priests’ urine destined for the Philippines.
Follow this and other leading China news at @chinadailyshow on Twitter