Originally published November 29 2008
90 Percent of U.S. Infant Formula May Be Contaminated with Melamine; FDA Abruptly Declares Chemical Safe for Babies
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor
(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 babiesRather 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.
Two theories of melamine contaminationI offer two theories to explain the melamine contamination of these products. Obviously, the contamination could not be caused by the manufacturing and packaging of the product, because the melamine levels already found in U.S. infant formula products greatly exceed the expected levels from such manufacturing and packaging. The following two theories may explain the additional levels of detected melamine.
Theory #1: The infant formula is adulterated with melamine
This is what happened in China: Infant formula manufacturers added melamine to their milk protein to bulk up the product without adding much cost (melamine is much cheaper than milk protein). Because melamine's chemical profile is strikingly similar to milk protein, it can often fool simple protein analysis tests and appear to be legitimate.
If infant formula products use any milk protein from China, it could very easily have been adulterated with melamine. However, this is just a theory, and NaturalNews has no evidence that U.S. infant formula manufacturers actually used milk protein from China. Thus, we do not believe Theory #1 to be correct. Theory #2, below, seems more likely.
Theory #2: U.S. dairy operations are using animal feed contaminated with melamine
Because melamine is passed through cow's milk, the contamination of U.S. dairy cows with melamine through their feed could result in high melamine concentrations in the resulting milk proteins.
China has already admitted that melamine has been detected in alarming quantities in animal feed there, and tests have already shown chickens to be contaminated with the chemical. The question today is this: Do U.S. dairy farms use animal feed containing ingredients imported from China?
If so, then we may have a problem here that's much, much bigger than infant formula. We may have a dairy industry that's producing melamine-contaminated milk, which could mean that virtually all milk, yoghurt, butter and cheese produced in the U.S. might be contaminated with some level of melamine.
Again, NaturalNews has no proof that this is the situation, but the melamine must have come from somewhere. It didn't just spontaneously generate in the infant formula as the FDA would seemingly want us to believe. If the milk proteins in infant formula are contaminated with melamine, then it stands to reason that the milk proteins used throughout the food supply may also be contaminated.
We may, indeed, be looking at an industry-wide problem here. Powdered milk, meal replacement products and even milk protein drinks may all be contaminated with melamine at levels similar to the infant formula products.
Because you have to follow the logic here: Either the infant formula manufacturers ADDED melamine to their products (highly unlikely), or the entire milk product industry has a melamine problem.
You can't logically conclude that these infant formula manufacturers somehow got all the melamine-contaminated milk proteins but everybody else got melamine-free milk proteins. Milk proteins are a commodity in the food industry, and milk from thousands of different cows can all be mixed together in a single pound of milk protein. What could be happening here is that one dairy farm may have highly-contaminated cows because it used cheap feed fillers from China.
At this point, this is all just a theory, but it's a theory that makes sense. It makes a lot more sense than the FDA's theory that there's no problem and babies should just keep drinking melamine (and Bisphenol-A, for that matter...) and the press should stop asking questions.
Secret tests and public liesThere's no doubt that these infant formula manufacturers are pursuing the very same contamination theories I'm describing here. They're probably scrambling to test their milk protein sources, trying to figure out where all the extra melamine is coming from.
As usual, they'll try to keep the test results secret, preventing this from exploding into a much larger public health issue. The FDA, for its part, will continue to conduct any actual science in secret, preventing the public from knowing the tests results unless it is sued by organizations like the AP.
That's assuming the FDA conducts any science at all, because now the FDA believes it can declare contaminants to be safe at a level it just invents on the spot, without conducting any science whatsoever. The FDA is playing "Wheel of Fortune" with public safety (http://www.naturalnews.com/023681.html), and it's relying on guessing games - rather than actual science - to declare safety levels of chemicals it doesn't even understand.
The upshot of all this is really quite simple: People who feed their babies manufactured, mainstream infant formula products are fools! If there was ever a reason to breastfeed your baby, this is it. And if you're looking for truly safe infant formula products, go with natural brands such as Genesis Organics Goat Milk Formula (www.GenesisOrganics.com) or other "natural" brands that don't use cheap cow's milk proteins.
After all, it's quite clear at this point that the FDA doesn't care about your baby's health. You're the only one who can protect your baby from melamine. The FDA flat out refuses to do so. In fact, it's doing the opposite by declaring melamine to be safe!
So stop buying conventional infant formula products and start feeding your baby what it was meant to consume: Human breast milk from a healthy, well-nourished mom who eats lots of omega-3 oils and superfoods.
That's the best infant formula in the world. And by the way, human babies shouldn't be drinking bovine milk in the first place. The whole infant formula industry was a scam long before melamine came along. Now it's a contaminated scam.
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