This is one sign that parents do not want to see at this time following the deaths of four babies and hospitalization of thousands more with kidney complications after consuming contaminated formula milk from China. Following the reports, The Kenyan government, and indeed many governments around the world swung into action and immediately banned milk imports from China. A leading food company in Japan even recalled buns on suspicion that they had been made with contaminated milk imported from China. The culprit has since been found to be Melamine.
But what on earth was Melamine doing in baby formula? According to WiseGeek, ‘Melamine is an organic compound that is often combined with formaldehyde to produce melamine resin, a synthetic polymer which is fire resistant and heat tolerant. Melamine resin is a very versatile material with a highly stable structure. Uses for melamine include whiteboards, floor tiles, kitchenware, fire retardant fabrics, and commercial filters. Melamine can be easily molded while warm, but will set into a fixed form. This property makes it ideally suited to certain industrial applications’.
Melamine is therefore the last thing you’d expect to find in baby formula really. But unethical manufacturers apparently add it to milk to boost protein content. Or rather to cheat the testing systems into getting a higher protein reading in the tests. Last year there was a similar scandal after pet food made in China killed and sickened thousands of pets in the U.S. That too contained melamine. So in the end it’s all about business and money. Profits before health.
Still last year, U.S safety officials recalled 4.2 million Chinese-made Aqua Dots bead toys that contain a chemical that caused some children to vomit and become comatose after swallowing them. (CNN). Scientists found that the beads contained a chemical that turned into the ‘date rape’ drug upon metabolism in the body.
Not too long ago China was in the news again after Slim 10 slimming pills caused liver complications and even death. That was back in 2002. What next? What other dangerous stuff might we be unknowingly consuming?