Why is there any acceptable level of melamine in food?

I keep wondering: why international regulators would accept any level of melamine in food? What’s the reason for having even trace amounts? According to some news, ‘the United Nations on Friday urged concerted action to remove melamine from the food chain and restore public confidence in dairy products as China’s toxic milk scandal deepened.’(AFP)

It’s started with kids dying or getting severely ill due to the presence of melamine in milk.
It moved to baby animals getting kidney problems due to the same reason.

China downplayed the whole story, as they would normally do. Even better, they found the American way of dealing with stringent issues: it’s called ‘diverting the attention to something else’. China moved the attention from the milk scandal to the launch late on Thursday of the country’s third manned space mission, the spacecraft Shenzhou VII.

In the mean time, everybody else is affected by the melamine scandal.
U.S. regulators warned the public on Friday not to consume seven Mr. Brown instant coffee and milk tea products that were made in China, because of concerns they may be contaminated with melamine.
So far, FDA testing of milk-based products imported into the United States from China had not found any melamine contamination, an agency statement said.

Hong Kong government announced it had found traces of melamine in Heinz DHA+AA vegetable formula baby cereal and steamed potato wasabi crackers produced by Silang House in China.
The company said in a statement the recall affected one batch of one variety, about 270 cases.
Heinz said it determined all its other products were safe after extensive testing. The company said the variety being recalled is less than 1 percent of its baby food sales in Hong Kong. Company spokesman Michael Mullen said melamine is found throughout the food chain in minute traces and the amount in question in the Heinz product was 25 times lower than internationally accepted levels.
The product’s bar code is 6901642888480.

White Rabbit Creamy Candy has been affected by recall as well. The candy’s producer, Guanshengyuan, had earlier recalled its exports to more than 50 countries.
‘ The candies were removed from stores in Singapore and Hong Kong on Wednesday after tests showed some of the sweets had six times the legal limit of the industrial chemical melamine (Ottawa Citizen.com)’
Last Sunday, a Chinese-made dessert, Nissin Cha Cha Dessert, made using Yili Pure Milk, was placed on the recall list.

Canada’s Food Inspection Agency and Regent Long Marketing and Distribution Ltd. advised people not to consume the dessert, which was distributed in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia.

The EU yesterday banned imports of dairy-based Chinese food products, including biscuits, sweets and chocolate amid a growing global health scare over contaminated milk from China. The European Commission placed new precautionary restrictions and tighter EU border checks on all Chinese food products entering Europe.
A commission spokesman said the measures would also place a ban on all products for infants and young children originating from China that contain any percentage of milk (OttawaCitizen.com)

Japan announced on Friday, that Marudai Food Co. had been found melamine in some of its recalled products made with Chinese milk, including “Cream Panda” buns.
‘The government in the Chinese territory of Macau said late Thursday it had found melamine levels 24 times the safety limit in chocolate-filled Koala’s March cookies made by Lotte China Foods Co. The company is a member of Tokyo-based conglomerate Lotte Group.’(AP)

‘Pizza Hut in Taiwan chains said Friday it was halting the supply of cheese powder to its restaurants because the powder was found to be contaminated by melamine.Wu Yu-ping, an official with Pizza Hut in Taiwan, said the tainted cheese was supplied by Taiwan’s Kaiyuan Company, but its source is not known.’(AP)

One Reply to “Why is there any acceptable level of melamine in food?”

  1. I have just walked over 3000 kms and I can guarantee you that I will never again knowingly eat anything from China. I have a mass of video footage and photographs to prove horrendous pollution beyond anything you see in the media. I am asking the same question – WHY DO WE NEED MELAMINE IN MILK?

    Presently I am writing a book ‘Chinese Toxic Shock Syndrome’ © Paul Coleman 2008 detailing what we experienced walking through China and lecturing around Japan, advising people to buy, buy organic and send a message to China that poisonous products are not good for anyone’s health, especially the health of Chinese citizens, who will surely feel the impact of ‘Chinese Toxic Shock Syndrome’ over the next decade.

    Thanks for you informative article.

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