US infant formula tainted with melamine
You have probably heard of the tainted milk scandal in China where 53000 babies got sick and at least 4 died because of milk powder tainted with melamine. And you probably figured, ‘that doesn’t concern me and my baby: we don’t live in China’.
Well, it turns out it does concern you because, as of November 2008, as much of 90% of infant formulais on the market in the US and Camada has been shown to be contaminated with melamine, too. Trace amounts of melamine were found in Mead Johnson’s Enfamil LIPIL with Iron and Abbot Laboratories’ Similac. Cyanuric acid, a byproduct of melamine, was found in Nestle’s, Good Start Supreme Infant Formula with Iron
So what has the FDA done about it? Instead of recalling the products, they have abruptly declared melamine contamination below 1ppm to be safe. Conveniently, this safety threshold is just above the levels found in U.S. infant formula products.
The FDA have instructed the public to continue to feed their babies formula, despite the fact that it contains melamine.
Their declaration of these trace amounts of melamine being safe is not based on any new scientific enquiry, but likely on protection of the pharmaceutical industry’s interests. The Associated Press obtained reports on the contamination of US infant formula through the Freedom of Information Act, but before this information had been made public, the FDA had stated:
Suddenly, once the news got out that US-made formula was contaminated, the FDA changed their story and declared that trace amounts of melamine were safe. What do you think the FDA is more concerned with: your baby’s health or covering the pharmaceutical industry’s behind?
If you want to be sure that your baby is drinking milk that is safe, and if you are able to provide it, breastfeed your baby!
If you have already been giving your baby formula and breastfeeding is not an option, there is no need to panic. Levels in American formula are a lot lower than those found in Chinese formula. While it’s not good that there is melamine in there, it doesn’t mean that your baby has necessarily been damaged by it. If you have to formula feed, you may want to look into brands that were not implicated in the melamine contamination.
Organic Formula brands:
More on melamine in formula: