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 is just horrifying to me. This is the primary source of nutrition for many babies under one year of age and these chemicals are in no way harmless! Where is the Food and Drug Administration in all this? Well apparently they weren’t planning on releasing their findings to the American public any time soon. It took the Associated Press filing a request under the Freedom of Information act to uncover the test results conducted by the FDA on 87 samples of infant formula in response to melamine findings in Chinese infant formula earlier this year.
“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.”
And the worst part of this? Despite their findings, the FDA still contends that infant formula is safe and encourages the public to continue the use of a tainted product. It’s simply outrageous!
“When FDA claims there isn’t any reason to worry, that’s exactly what the consumer should do,” said Ken Cook, president of Environmental Working Group. “The once-revered public health agency has morphed into a taxpayer-funded public relations arm for the very industries it was created to oversee.”
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