National: Who’s Minding the Melamine?

China’s ever-growing share of exports to the West may keep us comfortable at a cheap cost, but they can also be a mixed blessing: Think gun powder (great for fireworks, not so great for conflict resolution), designer knock-offs, and lately, cheap, melamine-laced food products. Thousands of children in China have been sickened by this industrial additive and a few have died from kidney failure. Now there are worries that melamine-contaminated foods may have made their way to our market, too.

Should you panic? That depends, says the US Food and Drug Administration. While it released a statement on Friday reassuring the public that, “melamine-related compounds below 2.5 parts per million (ppm) do not raise concerns,” melamine in baby formula is still very bad news. In fact, the “FDA is currently unable to establish any level of melamine and melamine-related compounds in infant formula that does not raise public health concerns.”

Feeling like maybe now’s the time to go vegan? Check out Soy Cafe’s smoothie menu for some dairy-free alternatives.

More Candy From China, Tainted, Is In The US [New York Times]
FDA Issues Interim Safety and Risk Assessment of Melamine and Melamine-related Compounds in Food [FDA Official Site]

[Photo: Via striatic/flickr]

National: Who’s Minding the Melamine?