More Melamine - this time it's baby food again

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Just wonderful -- from CNN:
FDA finds more traces of melamine in formula
Several samples of infant formula have tested positive for trace amounts of the toxic contaminant melamine or a related compound, the Food and Drug Administration said Thursday.

Of 77 samples tested, one contained trace levels of melamine, FDA spokeswoman Judy Leon told CNN. A trace amount is defined as less than 2,500 parts per billion, she said.

On Tuesday, the agency had said that one sample had tested positive.

But Thursday, the FDA said two tests of a sample of Nestle's Good Start Supreme Infant Formula with Iron showed melamine at levels of 137 and 140 parts per billion.

In addition, Mead Johnson's infant powder, Enfamil LIPIL with Iron, had three positive tests for cyanuric acid, at an average of 247 parts per billion, also well below the FDA trace level.
And a bit more:
Last month, the FDA set the safety threshold for melamine at 2,500 parts per billion for foods other than infant formula. The agency said it did not have enough data to set a safety threshold for infants.

A spokeswoman for the Atlanta, Georgia-based International Formula Council, a trade group, said she had not seen the data, but was encouraged that the quantity found was below levels deemed safe in infants by the governments of China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Canada and New Zealand.

"Apparently these trace levels can be found in lots of food," said spokeswoman Mardi Mountford.

The FDA also found trace levels of melamine in several samples of medical formula supplements for the elderly, but the amounts posed no health risk to adults, Leon said.
These levels are fine for short-term consumption and probably fine for long-term as well -- a few hundred parts per Billion of anything can easily be processed by the body and eliminated. What really concerns me is that this is probably from cross-contamination which means that they are still adding Melamine to other products manufactured at that plant on that equipment. They may be cleaning the processing machines between cycles but enough Melamine is remaining that it shows up in these batches. The danger here is that someone will mistakenly dump a bag of Melamine into a batch of Infant formula and that it will not be detected. This is not good. The only reason for Melamine to be used at all is to defeat the test for protein content and jack the number up higher. Case in point this paragraph:
Its presence in Chinese infant formula has led to the hospitalization of more than 12,000 children and the deaths of several in China, according to the FDA, which said it is not aware of any such illnesses in the United States.
Rope. Tree. Some assembly required.

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on November 30, 2008 3:42 PM.

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