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FDA Sets Melamine Safety Standard Just In The Nick of Time

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Infant drinking milk

Much like the BPA controversy, the FDA is telling us not to worry about melamine content, recently discovered in the popular infant formulas, Nestle, Mead Johnson and Enfamil. A release from the Associated Press filed a request from the FDA, based on the Freedom of Information Act, mandated disclosure of the fact that melamine was found in the popular infant formulas. The melamine containing infant formulas make up 90% of sales.

Melamine seems to have seeped into our environment, much like BPA and other harmful chemicals. Melamine is used in the manufacturing process to make resins for countertops, fabrics, fertilizers, pesticides, and flame retardant fabrics.

No one knows the source of the melamine found in the infant formulas. The same companies that manufacture the formulas also make protein based drink supplements. Melamine is not allowed to be purposefully added to foods, but speculatively has been added to boost the protein content of food in order to pass analysis standards. Now China regulates food safety and milk as Melamine scandal grows.

The FDA is insisting the melamine, at the levels found in the infant formula, are safe. Oddly, Dr. Stephen Sundlof, the FDA's director of food safety has not been able to tell us why there were no standards previously set. There is no research that backs up the FDA's choice – 1ppm. It does however mimic the melamine content standards set by Canada, and is just above the levels found recently in the popular infant formulas in the US.

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Health Canada set the 1ppm melamine standard after reviewing all of the available data on the health risks of melamine. Their investigation followed the contamination of Chinese infant formula earlier this year resulting in three infant deaths. One part per million now seems convenient enough for our own FDA.

Consumers should look closely at food safety when making dietary choices. Melamine is widely used in the farming industry, and is added to feed and fertilizers, and used in pesticides.

It seems that melamine is the newest addition to dietary toxins. We might remember that ingestion, inhalation, and skin exposure to toxins adds up. Recent research suggests that most of us give little thought to exactly how many toxins we ingest, inhale and put on our bodies on a daily basis. If we were to total up the amounts of harmful substances that surround us daily, we might immediately shift our consumer and lifestyle habits. Read FDA's advisory on Melamine contamination.

Mothers might want to think strongly about the long-term effects of melamine on the health of their infants, even though the FDA has provided us with a safe standard; just in the nick of time.

Reference: http://www.fda.gov/oc/opacom/hottopics/melamine.html

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