Getting Rid of Melamine: Not Just
Source of Article: http://www.marlerblog.com/
Anyone who thinks that we've heard the last of melamine is sorely mistaken.
During the first week of December, member countries of the European Union reported three instances of melamine contamination:
• Germany found 275.3 ppm in ammonium
bicarbonate baking agent from China
Two more melamine-contaminated products – ammonium bicarbonate (81 and 128 ppm) and rice protein concentrate (21,000 ppm) – were reported the following week.
On December 5th, the World Health Organization's expert panel recommended a "Tolerable Daily Intake" for melamine of 0.2 mg per Kg of body weight – a 60% reduction in the previous recommended intake limit of 0.5 mg/Kg on which governments had based their interim maximum allowable levels for melamine in food.
After the WHO report was issued,
"Trace" amounts of melamine are turning up in foods – even
infant formulas – that never came within sight of
These findings are not due to deliberate adulteration, as was the case in
- migration from plastic food-contact surfaces;
The 2007 contaminated pet food incident opened our eyes to the danger
posed by the combined ingestion of melamine and cyanuric
acid – both previously thought to be very low health risks. This year's
There are actions that we consumers can take to reduce the risk of melamine migration into our food, especially food that we feed our children. Eliminating melamine from our food supply, however, will require the concerted action of farmers, food processors and regulators.
Check back tomorrow for more on how melamine finds its way into your family's food.
Phyllis is the author of "Food Safety: Old Habits, New Perspectives" and "Food Microbiology - The Laboratory". She has been a food safety microbiologist for 35 years, and has worked both in government and industry.
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