Melamine, a chemical pesticide and fire retardant, made the news last year when it turned up in pork meat and was later discovered in farmed fish and poultry. This immediately prompted concern over U.S. food imports.
Now, China—a major trade partner with the United States—finds itself in the middle of a BIG infant formula-melamine outbreak. Causing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to warn people AGAINST buying Chinese-made baby formula.
To make matters worse, new reports are claiming melamine is WIDESPREAD in China's food chain. More from Reuters:
China's inspection agency has identified 22 manufacturers selling contaminated baby milk. It has emerged that Sunlu, the formula milk supply company first implicated in Hebei province earlier this month, received complaints about sick babies as early as December last year. A documentary in July by Hunan TV reported an epidemic of kidney disease in the region.
However, milk isn't the only way that melamine can enter the food chain. Chan King-ming, associate professor of biochemistry at the Chinese University, said cyromazine, a derivative of melamine, is very commonly used in China as a pesticide.
"It is absorbed into plants as melamine ... of course, it is already in our food chain and animal feed," says Chan. "So it is not just in milk products, but also in farm products and animal feed." In principle, the chemical can enter the human food chain from any of these sources.
Bad news for China and equally terrible news for the United States! U.S. consumer-confidence is ALREADY shaky due to things like the E. coli-spinach crisis and MASSIVE meat recalls. Killer baby formula from a major exporter is NOT going to help steady American nerves.
More reason to go organic!