Dangerous Dairy from China

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Got Melamine? Picture Credit:fear_a_gnome

Chinese Food Products (Containing Chinese Milk) and Chinese Milk Products Banned by FDA from Entering the U.S.

China must not think much of its trading partners as the U.S. purchases billions of dollars per year of Chinese goods and food products. Imported foods containing Chinese milk products are hazardous to our health, as we are seeing more and more cases of Melamine in dairy products. Melamine is a hazardous chemical: harmful if swallowed, inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Chronic exposure may cause cancer or reproductive damage, eye, skin and respiratory irritant.

MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet for Melamine) Note information printed on top paragraph of MSDS:has been used (illegally) to boost apparent protein content of milk powders.

A chronological list of events leading up to the FDA ban on Chinese dairy and dairy containing products:

September 25, 2008, Washington, DC: Letter sent to FDA from Food and Water Watch. FDA Letter:

As the scope of the contaminated milk scandal in China continues to grow, national consumer group Food & Water Watch today called on the Food and Drug Administration to stop the import of dairy products and milk-derived ingredients from China, and urged food manufacturers to test any milk-derived ingredients they have already purchased.

“It is now clear that China has exported dairy products like powdered milk and milk protein products around the globe and we know that some of them came to the United States,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch. “This year the United States has already imported 2 million pounds of powdered milk protein ingredients like casein. It is time for FDA to take this issue seriously and stop the import of dairy products from China until this situation is under control.”

“The pet food scandal last year should have taught FDA and U.S. food manufacturers the importance of sourcing ingredients from places with a record of safe production practices,” said Hauter. “The discovery that more than 50,000 children have been made sick from tainted infant formula is yet another tragic example that the Chinese food safety system is not capable of protecting consumers in China or their export markets.”

Read the entire article, Source: Food and Water Watch, NewsRoom

October 17, 2008, Washington, DC (ENS):

Chinese cookies found in Alabama stores have tested positive for high levels of the plastic melamine, triggering a demand from consumer organizations for a federal government ban on all food products from China containing milk proteins.

The recent deaths of four infants and the illnesses of 53,000 other children in China linked with the consumption of infant formula containing melamine have not resulted in a ban in the United States, although individual products, such as White Rabbit candy and Mr. Brown drinks, have been recalled.

The chemical is used in plastics manufacturing and as an illegal additive in foods to simulate protein and it was linked to massive pet food recalls across the United States in 2007.

Two weeks ago the U.S. Food and Drug Administration set “acceptable” levels for melamine in human food, but this measure has not kept contaminated products out of U.S. stores.

On Wednesday, the Alabama Department of Agriculture announced that Koala’s March brand cookies found in Alabama stores have tested positive for melamine with levels that exceed the FDA’s stated safe levels of exposure.

Melamine Tainted Chinese Baby Formula Picture Credit:g-yulongi. More details

FDA Finally Begins Stopping Chinese dairy and dairy-based products from being imported into the U.S.

November 12, 2008, From the FDA, IMPORT ALERT IA9930, Read more here The Food and Drug Administration has begun stopping imports of Chinese dairy and dairy-based products from entering the country in an effort to keep out food contaminated with the industrial chemical melamine. The amount of products on the FDA list is mind staggering.

Melamine is the chemical at the heart of the Chinese infant formula scandal that has killed at least two infants and sickened more than 50,000. Scraps of melamine, which is used to make plastic and fertilizer, were added to milk as a way of boosting the milk’s protein content in order to pass quality tests. The same thing was done with wheat gluten, which was then used to make pet food and sparked a wave of recalls last year after thousands of pets died.

FDA officials, who had been spot checking markets for melamine-tainted foods and recalling select products, said they expanded their import advisory in part because of intelligence from overseas counterparts.

Under the hold and test policy initiated Thursday, FDA stops products at the border, then requires the importer to test it and prove it doesn’t have melamine before allowing it to be distributed.

Read the entire article, Source: Washington Post

The Chinese merchants have used an old trick taken from the cattle feed industry. Urea is added to cattle feed to boost the protein analysis when it is quality checked. The urea does not make cattle sick nor does it cause death. Melamine is used in Chinese milk products to boost protein analysis, but has caused sickness and even death in some individuals.

How many people in the U.S. and other parts of the world have become sick from Chinese melamine tainted milk products while thinking that they only had a virus or eaten some spoiled food?

The FDA needs to continue the hold and test policy initiated last Thursday on all Chinese food products from now on. Such policies are the best way to hit China’s pocketbook and hopefully allow China to clean up their act.

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6 Responses to Dangerous Dairy from China

  1. skyy November 18, 2008 at 8:45 am #

    A Gainesville Florida woman has invented an at home melamine test kit! Check this out.

    http://www.gainesville.com/article/20081117/news/811171007

  2. ChemicallyGreen.com
    chemicallygreen.com November 18, 2008 at 11:39 am #

    @skyy: Thanks for the comment. Looks like we all might have to start testing at home for melamine if the FDA doesn’t inspect close enough

  3. Lynn Schatzle March 19, 2009 at 7:08 am #

    Last week I came down with a gastrointestinal bug which many other friends and neighbors were also experiencing. This bug was most unusual. After the initial vomit and diarrhea episode a feeling of fullness and bloating and indigestion lasted from 3 days to almost 4 weeks. Felt ok except it was odd that I did not get hungry since I had virtually nothing to eat except fora few saltines and some water. This incident is taken lightly by doctors who are busy enough in their daily activities. But the more I look into this episode I feel that something in a food we all ate got us sick. I wonder if the melamine and wheat gluten that is imported into this country from China could be at the root of this problem..Melamine and wheat gluten are in almost everything we eat. I thought this might be of interest– it really scares me because China does shaky shit and should not be trusted with our food and drugs and water.

  4. ChemicallyGreen.com
    chemicallygreen.com March 19, 2009 at 9:35 am #

    @Lynn Schatzle: Thanks for your comments. Interesting comments and how do we know that the melamine is not still in the products we are bringing in from China. I know there was an embargo against the Chinese products that had gluten and milk products being shipped into the U.S., but I do not know if the embargo has been lifted.

    One other thought, how in the heck can the U.S. inspect all of these products from China? Bet melamine contaminated products are still entering the U.S.

    The White House is to busy stimulating the economy and has little concerned about melamine contaminated food still entering the U.S.

  5. asbestos survey April 28, 2010 at 8:00 am #

    That’s disgusting. With the US as such a huge trading partner, you’d think China would ensure standards are kept high when it comes to health and safety of their products. The U.S. and other countries can’t check every single product so we all have to trust in the Chinese. Random checks should be conducted though, and trade withheld if there are bad results.

  6. ChemicallyGreen.com
    chemicallygreen.com May 5, 2010 at 12:36 pm #

    @asbestos survey: Thank u for your comments. Unfortunately, the U.S. does not have enough money or manpower to check imported food items often enough. The Chinese have a terrible track record for food contamination for imported food to the U.S. and will probably continue its current sloppy checking.

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