China said Monday that a total of 294,000 children had fallen ill and six deaths since September 10 may be linked to the consumption of melamine-laced milk. About 861 children remained in hospital and that 154 were “serious” cases as of December 1, 2008.
Melamine is a chemical normally used to make plastics had been routinely mixed into Chinese milk and dairy products to give them the impression of having higher protein content for years. The effects seem to be cumulative in neonats and infant only formula fed are hit the hardest.
Melamine can cause kidney stones and kidney failure. Now it seems the US FDA has found the substance in trace amounts in our infant formula supply line and the Bush administration and FDA Hid Names of Melamine Contaminated Infant Formula Products from the Public.
The truth about the melamine only became public after the Associated Press filed a Freedom of Information Act request, demanding the test results from the FDA. Absent that request, this whole issue would have continued to remain an FDA secret.
The FDA found melamine and cyanuric acid, a related chemical, in samples of baby formula made by majorU.S. manufacturers.
Melamine can cause kidney and bladder stones and, in worst cases, kidney failure and death. If melamine and cyanuric acid combine, they can form round yellow crystals that can also damage kidneys and destroy renal function.
Melamine was found in Good Start Supreme Infant Formula With Iron made by Nestle, and cyanuric acid was detected in Enfamil Lipil With Iron infant formula powder made by Mead Johnson.
A spokesman for Nestle did not respond to repeated calls and e-mails for comment yesterday.
Gail Wood, a spokeswoman for Mead Johnson, said the company does not think that cyanuric acid poses a health threat to infants. “Cyanuric acid is approved by the FDA to sanitize processing equipment,” she said. “The risks of not sanitizing equipment are far greater than ultra trace amounts of residual cyanuric acid found in the formula.”
The FDA has been testing hundreds of food products for melamine in the aftermath of a scandal this year involving Chinese infant formula tainted with melamine. Chinese manufacturers deliberately added the chemical to watered-down formula to make it appear to contain higher levels of protein. More than 50,000 Asian infants were hospitalized, and at least four died.
After that decision, the FDA is now under intense fire for once again betraying the public trust and acting to protect the interests of corporations rather than the people. Congress, public health groups and consumer advocate are blasting the FDA for utterly disregarding public safety and catering (once again) to the financial interests of the companies it regulates.
The FDA collected 87 samples of infant formula made by American manufacturers, tested all but 10 of them and held a conference call with manufacturers to alert them to the preliminary findings, FDA spokeswoman Judy Leon said. She said she did not know when the agency was planning to inform the public. Then The FDA back peddled and said there were trace amounts in the infant formula’s and would need to do safety tests then they said these trace amounts were safe????
How can one say that poisonous substance is not harmful in trace amounts without testing over years of time. How can the FDA and the Bush administration leave our most helpless infants at such a risk!
Excerpts from the following publications:
China says 294,000 children fell ill from tainted milk – Staff Writers AFP Beijing Dec 1, 2008
FDA Draws Fire Over Chemicals In Baby Formula – Lyndsey Layton Washington Post November 27, 2008
Melamine, Infant formula and FDA – Mike Adams, The Health Ranger, November 27, 2008 http://www.naturalnews.com/melamine.html
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Melamine, Infant formula and FDA – Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, November 27, 2008 http://www.naturalnews.com/melamine.html
“We will use our actions and high quality of our food products to win the trust and confidence of Chinese people and people around the world.”
However it remains unclear just how much of China’s food is contaminated with melamine and other dangerous substances.
A few days after Wen’s comments in October, it emerged that some Chinese eggs also had traces of melamine, with the chemical mixed into chicken feed to give it the appearance of higher protein content.
The discovery of melamine in eggs raised concerns that it could be in many other Chinese foods, with the suspicion that it may have been mixed into other livestock feed.
Other Chinese foods have come under scrutiny for safety issues in recent years.
Dumplings laced with pesticide have been discovered in Japan, while the Chinese and international media have reported on problems such as steroid-laced pigs and fish being fed antibiotics so they can survive in polluted water.