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Wayne Parsons
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Food Poisoning Update: FDA Blasted on Melamine Contaminated Infant Formula

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The Washington Post reported today that the FDA is being blasted from all sides for allowing the Melamine food poisoning crisis to spin out of control. The story identifies sources of Melamine contamination:

The FDA found melamine and cyanuric acid, a related chemical, in samples of baby formula made by major U.S. manufacturers. Melamine can cause kidney and bladder stones and, in worst cases, kidney failure and death. If melamine and cyanuric acid combine, they can form round yellow crystals that can also damage kidneys and destroy renal function.

Melamine was found in Good Start Supreme Infant Formula With Iron made by Nestle, and cyanuric acid was detected in Enfamil Lipil With Iron infant formula powder made by Mead Johnson. A spokesman for Nestle did not respond to repeated calls and e-mails for comment yesterday.

This situation has been in public view for sometime and finally Congress has weighed in and let the corporations know that putting babies at risk will not be tolerated:

"This FDA, this Bush administration, instead of protecting the public health, is protecting industry," said Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), who chairs the Appropriations subcommittee that oversees the FDA budget. In an interview, DeLauro said she wants the agency to disclose its findings and to develop a plan to remove melamine from formula. "We’re talking about babies, about the most vulnerable. This really makes me angry."

Melamine food poisoning is just another problem that highlights the threat to American food supply as a result of unscrupulous corporations that put people over profits and the take over of regulatory agencies like the FDA by corporate operatives who were instructed by Presidents Bush and, I am sorry to say, Clinton.

The same thing is happening to our food supply that has happened recently on Wall Street. The public has been battered for 20 years with politicians and corporations assailing government regulation as "bad". Think about it as you watch the financial and food supply markets in crisis. Americans must rely on the government to regulate these industries and to protect us from the greed and negligence on industries that affect public health and safety.

The problem started when

"Chinese manufacturers deliberately added the chemical to watered-down formula to make it appear to contain higher levels of protein. More than 50,000 Asian infants were hospitalized, and at least four died."

Then the FDA looked at American manufacturers and now say that their levels of Melamine and cyanuric acid and okay for babies. The catch here is that the FDA has admitted that they do not know what exposure is safe for infants:

Agency scientists have maintained they could not set a safe level of melamine exposure for babies because they do not understand the effects of long-term exposure on a baby’s developing kidneys. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that infant formula is a baby’s sole source of food for many months. Premature infants absorb an especially large dose of the chemical, compared with full-term babies.

The Washington Post story is must reading for parents with babies getting infant formula. Other credible reporting sources from consumer advocates are reporting other sources of the Melamine food poisoning threat including infant formula from Vietnam.