The agency detected trace amounts of the toxic chemical in a sample of Nestle Nutrition's Good Start Supreme Infant Formula with Iron. Melamine was found in concentrations of 137 and 140 parts per billion.
The FDA said that concentrations less than 1,000 parts per billion do not raise safety concerns, although earlier they had argued that no level of melamine was safe.
Agency testing also found cyanuric acid, a chemical relative of melamine, in a single sample of Mead Johnson's Enfamil Lipil with Iron.
This is another vivid example of how far off track the FDA has traveled from its roots as protector of public safety.
The article cites an especially flagrant violation of public trust in which the FDA outdid itself by
1) completely reversing its position on the safety of melamine in food products, and
2) risking the health of infants in the process.
The truth is that the FDA as it is currently structured is no longer able to protect you and your family. The FDA doesn’t view you as its client. Drug companies have become the FDA’s biggest client, and their interests come well ahead of yours.
Sadly, the risk of melamine is no longer contained to just milk products. In a recent article in the Los Angeles Times, fish from China have also been found to be contaminated with this industrial chemical. China is the world's largest producer of farm-raised seafood, exporting billions of dollars worth of shrimp, catfish, tilapia, salmon and other fish. The U.S. imported about $2 billion of seafood products from China in 2007, almost double the volume of four years earlier, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
According to industry experts and businesspeople in China, melamine has been routinely added to fish feed, to boost protein readings. What's worse, new research indicates that the flesh in fish that have been fed melamine still contains residues of the substance.
How Dangerous Is Melamine for Your Baby?
Melamine is a compound composed of nitrogen, carbon and hydrogen. It began appearing in household goods and laminates in the late 1930’s. When combined with formaldehyde and exposed to extreme heat, melamine forms into a moldable material that is virtually unbreakable once cooled.
Inside a human body, melamine combined with cyanuric acid forms into insoluble crystals in renal tubules, kidneys, the ureter, urethra or urinary bladder.
Babies who’ve been fed infant formula containing high concentrations of melamine have shown the following symptoms:
- Unexplained fever arising from urinary tract infections
- Unexplained crying in infants, especially when urinating, possible vomiting
- Small amounts of blood in the urine
- Acute obstructive renal failure
- Pain on urinating, and passage of stones while urinating
- High blood pressure
- Pain over the kidneys
Keeping Your Baby Safe
Breastfeeding is without question the best way to keep your child safe from contaminants in commercial formula.
Beyond the concern for safety, there are so many other benefits to breastfeeding – for both you and your baby -- it should be the option of choice whenever possible.
A very short list of some of the positive effects of breastfeeding your baby includes:
- Reduced risk of heart disease for baby later in life
- Higher intelligence
- Reduced risk of obesity in teen years
- Reduced womb-to-world trauma for newborns
- Mothers who breastfeed return to pre-pregnancy weight faster
Is There a Safe Alternative to Breastfeeding?
Absolutely nothing beats breast milk as a nutritional and health resource for your baby. I can’t stress it enough. There are at least 400 nutrients in breast milk that are not found in formula.
Whatever you do, avoid infant soy formula. Unfermented soy is hazardous to your health, and soy formula is one of the worst foods you can feed to your baby.