November 30, 2008
(NaturalNews) Up to 90 percent of the infant formula sold in the United States may be contaminated with trace amounts of melamine, the toxic chemical linked to kidney damage, according to recent tests. The FDA’s test results, which the agency hid from the public and only released after the Associated Press filed a Freedom of Information Act request, showed that Nestle, Mead Johnson and Enfamil infant formula products were all contaminated with melamine.
The AP is also reporting that Abbott Laboratories conducted its own in-house tests that detected trace levels of melamine in its formula products. Together, these infant formula manufacturers make about 90 percent of the infant formula sold in the United States.
Prior to these test results being made public, the FDA had published a document on its website that explained there was no safe level of melamine contamination in infant formula. Specifically, the FDA stated, “FDA is currently unable to establish any level of melamine and melamine-related compounds in infant formula that does not raise public health concerns.”
Once tests found melamine in U.S.-made formula products, however, the FDA changed its story. As of today, the FDA has now officially declared melamine to be safe in infant formula as long as the contamination level is less than one part per million (1 ppm).
Astonishingly: The FDA has no new science to justify its abrupt decision declaring melamine to be safe!
Protecting Big Business instead of American babies
Rather than being based on science, the FDA’s decision appears to be based entirely on creating cover for U.S. infant formula manufacturers whose products were found to be contaminated with melamine. The “acceptable” level of contamination (1 ppm) is conveniently just above the levels found in U.S. infant formula products, thus placing U.S. infant formula in the “safe” contamination level category.
And yet the FDA has conducted no safety testing whatsoever to determine whether 1ppm of melamine is safe for infants to consume. There is no science involved in this decision whatsoever.
Rather than this decision being based on science, the FDA is once again resorting to politically-motivated decisions that seek to protect the profits of Big Business rather than the safety of infants and children.
Recall that the FDA also recently declared Bisphenol-A to be safe for infants to consume, even while countries like Canada banned the chemical from baby bottles. The FDA, it seems has never met a corporate-sponsored chemical it didn’t like.
Where did the melamine come from?
Laughingly, the FDA claims the 1ppm of melamine in U.S. infant formula must have come from the manufacturing machines or food packaging equipment. And yet the AP is reporting that the expected level of melamine contamination from manufacturing equipment is only 15 ppb (parts per billion).
But the FDA’s own tests on Mead Johnson infant formula reveal it to contain 245 ppb, or 1600% more than what would be expected to exists due to melamine contamination from manufacturing equipment.
There are two really important questions that any intelligent consumer should be asking about all this:
Question #1) If the manufacturing and packaging equipment is contaminated with melamine, does this mean that ALL food products containing milk protein are similarly contaminated? The same companies that make infant formula also make Slim Fast, Ensure and Boost — all are milk protein-based meal replacement products containing many of the same ingredients as infant formula. Are they contaminated with melamine, too?
Question #2) If manufacturing and packaging machinery should only result in melamine contamination levels of 15 ppb, and yet 245 ppb were found in the infant formula, then where did all the extra melamine come from? The FDA has no explanation for this and seems to hope people will forget to ask.
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