Canada Adopts New Recommendations Regarding Melamine In Food

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture
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The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, today announced that Canada will adopt the recommendations stemming from the recent World Health Organization scientific meetings on the toxicological effects of melamine and cyanuric acid that recently concluded in Ottawa.

"The health and safety of Canadians is important for our government and we are taking very seriously the concerns being raised by parents about the potential for melamine in infant formulas," said Minister Aglukkaq. "As the first country to adopt the World Health Organization's recommendations, Canada is a world leader in addressing the health impacts of melamine contamination in food."

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Coming out of the meeting, the gathered experts, while acknowledging that the existing interim standards currently in place in many countries do provide good public health protection, recommended that the tolerable daily intake be set at 0.2 mg per kg of bodyweight per day as a result of the uncertainties in current scientific knowledge on melamine. Most countries, including Canada, have been using a slightly higher tolerable daily intake (TDI).

As a result, Health Canada is adopting this new TDI recommended by the World Health Organization and will be taking the additional measure of lowering its allowable level for melamine in infant formula from 1 ppm (parts per million) to 0.5 ppm in order to ensure that exposures stay within this new TDI. This is because in Canada, unlike most countries in the world, infant formula is commonly available as ready-to-eat products.

It is important to note that no infant formula product in Canada has tested positive for levels of melamine above even this new interim standard.

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