Thursday, December 4, 2008

Well This Stopped Me Cold

Remember when I was talking about melamine making its way into our food supply?

Well LISTEN TO THIS! (if you aren't checking it today Thursday December 4th... then select today's date in the playlist) The FDA now admits that they have found melamine in baby formula in the US.

If your babies are drinking formula please listen.   They list the US formulas that have now been found to contain melamine. This is seriously legitimate.


You may have noticed I took down my video post. This is so important to me I don't want something frivolous up at the same time to distract you. I'm literally sick to my stomach over this. I'll remind you that NO testing has been done to determine exactly what parts per million is safe for babies. And this is exactly what killed those children in China. This is not about China. It is about a global food industry.

I'm furious. How many times does shit like this have to happen? Seems like a pretty common occurrence that a government agency would *report* facts that later turn out to be the opposite of true.


The Associated Press broke the story, you can read it HERE.

I found this on MSNBC.com:
"While proclaiming that the very low concentrations detected of melamine and a similar compound called cyanuric acid pose no health danger to infants, the FDA has maintained it is unable to identify any exposure level of melamine in infant formula "that does not raise public health concerns."

Further complicating the situation was inaccurate data that FDA released to The Associated Press, which was first to disclose the formulas' brand names and other details in an investigative report Tuesday.

A spreadsheet the AP obtained from the FDA under a Freedom of Information Act request stated that Mead Johnson's Infant Formula Powder, Enfamil LIPIL with Iron contained traces of melamine.

On Wednesday, FDA spokeswoman Judy Leon said that spreadsheet contained an error — that the FDA had incorrectly switched the names of the Mead Johnson product with Nestle's Good Start Supreme Infant Formula with Iron. That meant, Leon said, that the Nestle's Good Start had melamine while Mead Johnson's Enfamil had traces of cyanuric acid.

The FDA said last month that the toxicity of cyanuric acid is under study, but that in the meantime it is "prudent" to assume that its potency is equal to that of melamine."

12 comments:

julie said...

That was really funny how you quickly stopped the video when other parents got there.

Ok, you cracked me up with Mr. F needing to be deceased if you did the RV thing, the hobo car and Baby being the psychopath in Michael's. Very funny.

Yeah, the wrapping of home made presents can really get up there in price. I am sure that your boxes will be amazing though. I think it is so much nicer to get a box of homemade goodies than some of the stuff that I end up getting from some people. I don't mean to sound ungrateful because really I don't need anything...I would love if someone took the time to put something homemade together for me. I put together a holiday care package for my brother and his wife every year with homemade goodies and mail it to them even if they end up coming up here for Christmas.

Wow, that seems like a lot of words up there for me not saying a heck of a lot.

btw, Mrs F, I did reply to your message to me. I am still here...just been busy and in a funk lately.

Mrs Furious said...

Sorry Julie! I changed the post on you. I'll put it back up later. I want to be sure everyone who comes through notices the new FDA info!

julie said...

So everyone will read my comment and think I am totally cracked as it has nothing to do with your post:)

julie said...

Why isn't this front page news???!!! This is horrible.

btw, I just realized that the little plastic bowls that I give my kids cereal in are made of melamine. Is that dangerous? It's no big deal to throw them out.

Mrs Furious said...

Julie,
"Why isn't this front page news???!!! "
I have no fucking idea!

I got rid of the kids melamine bowls. But if you are just putting cold stuff in it I think it is fine. But who the hell knows? Throw them out.

Torey said...

This is appalling. I don't even know what to say.

Melamine plates, bowls and cups are safe. They are fine to use, microwave and dishwash. You're not "consuming" them. They shouldn't be flaking apart, and you shouldn't continue to use them if they crack, but other than that, they're fine.

Working in a Natural Parenting store, I'm pretty up to date on what you can and can't use to feed your children. I assure that melamine is safer than most Tupperware brand plastic containers. That said, I wouldn't hesitate to get rid of any and all plastic products and replace them with glass if I didn't think my kid would break them instantly, and if we could afford it.

Mrs Furious said...

Torey,
dude are you sure on the melamine bowls in the microwave? I'm pretty sure when I had some they specifically said "not microwave safe"... and did in fact melt a little in the micro when I heated up Kid's food (sorry about that Kid!) so the plastic definitely went into her food (which is why I felt like a real jackass a couple years later when all the bad plastics stuff came out).

By the way I replaced all our kid plastic dishes with Corelle... is really doesn't break... Baby has put it to the test. And it's cheap.

Deb said...

I read this and wanted to throw something. At someone. Your subsequent post about why can't things simply be made safe is dead-on. Why don't companies WANT to be responsible citizens? Why haven't they figured out that, at a minimum, it's not worth the bad PR? It's disgusting.

Claire said...

I am going to the newsroom tomorrow morning and asking the reporters what is going on - what can we do - we have a Mom's blog on our website: MyrtleBeachOnline.com - and I am going to go to Cassidy who manages it and see if we can get a posting there - You can go to some of the newspaper sites and see if they have a place to make comments - we can do this - we can have a voice! How do other people get their voices heard - you have to start somewhere - there are enough us right here reading this - to make some noise!

Mr Furious said...

Mrs F announced this whole melamine development to me when I got home today, and frankly I was too frazzled to really process it. Which was frustrating to her since she clearly wanted a comrade in anger.

Well, it's a few hours later, I've done my research, and as Deb can attest, 11:00 p.m. is when I get in my blogging groove.

Let me set the context—this was the situation in China that started all of this:

In September, 2008, FDA became aware of thousands of infant illnesses in China due to the consumption of infant formula reported to contain melamine. Reports indicated over 53,000 illnesses, including almost 13,000 hospitalizations, and at least four deaths of infants. The illnesses involved the formation of kidney stones and crystals and related complications.

Keep that in mind as you read how this unfolds...

After reading Mrs F's posts, her links, and then their links, and then actual statements and test results from the FDA—I am now totally pissed, yet not a bit surprised.

There is one thing that should be clarified based on the way Mrs F presented this to me. She said the FDA claimed there was no melamine in the U.S. formula supply when this first started. That's not entirely accurate. The FDA never claimed the U.S. supply was clean, all they said at the time was "we cannot determine a limit for melamine for infant formula that would NOT raise health concerns." The clear implication to a parent is that ANY melamine would be hazardous. And since the FDA issued no clarification (until now) or recalls, a parent would conclude that the U.S. supply is clean.

The truth is, at the time they made that statement, the FDA actually had no fucking idea if there was melamine in the U.S. supply, and/or, if there was, they didn't know what that meant.

What that boils down to is when babies die in China and tens of thousands are sick from melamine exposure, the FDA's first response is not to pull the supply from shelves, test it, and determine its safety—what they do instead is issue a vague ass-covering blanket statement that declares nothing, but leaves public with the impression that everything's fine.

The tainted dog food was treated with more urgency for godsakes!

So in October they quietly do some very limited sample testing and—lo and behold, the FDA finds melamine in Nestle's formula; melamine byproduct cyanuric acid in formula from Mead Johnson; and Abbott Laboratories admitted their in-house test revealed melamine in their formula.

Those three companies manufacture 90 percent of the formula in this country.

Now that the U.S. contamination is revealed, does the FDA issue a recall? No. Instead, the FDA—with no research or testing—suddenly establishes a level of melamine OR cyanuric acid that it claims is "safe" for infant consumption. And, conveniently, the tainted samples all fall below that limit.

So for the duration of this event, U.S. formula manufacturers have never had to stop selling their formula—even after confirmed contamination.

Pardon me if I think that is total and complete horseshit.

Torey said...

I believe that some Melamine dishes are microwave safe, as long as they are labeled this way, but always check the individual dish.

Mrs Furious said...

Deb,
It kind of makes me want to form my own country.


Claire,
You are right. I'm going to take some time this weekend to spread my comments around!

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