Melamine Found in US Baby Milk?

J at | Health and Fitness | Thursday, November 27th, 2008

The melamine issue just doesn’t seem to want to go away. Now, people are finding “trace” amounts of melamine in some of the top-selling infant formula in the United States. By “trace” they mean that the melamine levels are very low. In other words, they say the product is safe.

In fact, they even quoted Dr. Stephen Sundlof, director of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition: “They should not be changing the diet. If they’ve been feeding a particular product, they should continue to feed that product. That’s in the best interest of the baby.”

I know… Some parents will have quite a reaction to that statement. Perhaps what the experts are saying is that trace levels of melamine are better than not serving milk at all to bottle-fed babies.

Anyway, you’re probably curious: Who are these top-selling manufacturers of infant formula?

The three firms – Abbott Laboratories, Nestle and Mead Johnson – manufacture more than 90 percent of all infant formula produced in the United States.

I don’t know… It makes me uneasy. It would be better if the milk that my baby consumes has zero levels of melamine. Your body cannot break down melamine, right? And it stays inside… Or at least that’s what I’ve heard.

Is this some kind of capitulation that we truly cannot avoid melamine? That somehow, some amount of it will always find its way into the food chain? Anyway, that’s life and we’re all in the same boat together.

My baby drinks Pediasure, which is manufactured by Abbott Laboratories. And here is the Abbott Nutrition Statement on Melamine and Infant Formulas released on Nov. 26, 2008:

Abbott infant formulas are completely safe and we stand behind them.

Melamine is not an ingredient or additive in our formula.

The type of melamine found in trace amounts in infant formula is approved for food contact and is used in all sorts of food packaging including some infant formula containers. These trace amounts of melamine have not been shown to cause health problems.

By contrast, the tainted milk in China that caused children to become sick was due to intentional adulteration. That is, unscrupulous farmers and milk producers deliberately contaminated their milk with melamine in order to cheat on quality tests. That situation is entirely different from what we have found in the United States. The Chinese milk that made babies sick contained up to 10,000 times the amount of melamine that has been found here in the US.

Out of an abundance of caution, we confirmed that no milk or milk proteins that we use come from China. For extra safety precautions, Abbott Nutrition conducted extensive testing of all our ingredients to confirm no presence of melamine in the ingredients used to make our infant formulas. There was no melamine detected in our powdered or liquid formulas over the standard 1 part per million.

Dr. Stephen Sundlof, director of FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition stated “[moms] should not be changing the diet. If they’ve been feeding a particular product, they should continue to feed that product. That’s in the best interest of the baby.”

I wonder if Abbott (Philippines) will issue any statement about the milk manufactured here. Will be scouting for more melamine news in the coming days.

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