A Chinese court handed down the death penalty to two men involved in the production and distribution of contaminated infant formula.

A Chinese Court handed down sentences to three people involved in the production and sale of infant formula tainted with melamine that caused the illnesses of 300,000 babies and the deaths of six. As reported by the Associated Press (AP), two men were sentenced to death and one woman to life imprisonment on Thursday for playing a part in producing and distributing the contaminated milk for profitable gain.

As noted by the AP, the harsh extent of the penalties demonstrated the desire for Beijing officials to move beyond the highly controversial issue and deal with the country’s problems related to food safety.

The boss of the dairy linked to the contamination reportedly admitted to being aware of product issues months before bringing them to the attention of authorities.

Melamine is a chemical typically used for making plastics and other products, and can cause kidney failure and other health complications if ingested.

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