With hearing so much in the news lately about tainted milk, and food, I became curious as to why this is happening. So I did a Google search and came across an interesting article in the L.A. Times, Friday May 18, 2007 written by Don Lee. It explained that “China exported over $2.5 billion of food ingredients to the United States and the world, an increase of 150% from two previous years”. Don Lee also reported that “China is predominate maker of vanilla flavoring,citric acid, and vitamins”. All which can be found in the foods we purchase at any store. I never knew this, it is overwhelming to me.
Just recently in the news, China was pulling their White Rabbit Candy from the market due to the previous scare of the milk contamination that made several infants sick with kidney stones, and is currently being tested for melamine.
I wanted to find out more about Melamine, and what it is all about. I found some interesting information at Wise Geek. “Melamine is an organic compound combined with formaldehyde to make a resin. A synthetic polymer fire resistant and heat tolerant. Melamine is used to make floor tiles, kitchen ware,plastic plates, to filters. In 2007 veterinary scientists determined that Melamine was the cause of all the pet deaths, due to the contaminated food. Somehow prior to this report melamine was thought to of been non toxic or minimally toxic.”
Remember the Pet food recall when the Melamine got into the wheat gluten, and thus gave pets renal failure? Minimally toxic?, minimal is still enough to alarm people to keep it out of the food supply.
Upon reading the definition of melamine on Wikipedia I found: “The practice of adding “melamine scrap” to animal feed is reported to be widespread in China in order to give the appearance of increased protein content in animal feed . Melamine is sometimes illegally added to food products in order to increase the apparent protein content. Melamine, classified a controlled substance in China, has been illegally used in the high profile 2008 baby milk scandal case which led to the death of at least 4 infants. Melamine by itself is nontoxic in low doses, but when combined with cyanuric acid it can cause fatal kidney stones.” So what in the world is it doing in food?
Also found under the Melamine definition :”Melamine may have been added to fool government quality tests after water was added to fraudulently increase the milk’s volume. The” adulterant” melamine was added to the milk to allow the company to dilute the milk with water and circumvent government regulations, since melamine will cause a false increase in the measurement of protein by increasing the nitrogen levels in the milk.” O.k now we can see it all about money.
What does the “Adulterant” mean when stating adulterant melamine?
Adulterants:” Chemical substances which should not be contained within other substances (eg. Food,beverages,fuels,or pesticides)for legal or other reasons. Adulterants may be intentionally added to substances to reduce manufacturing costs, or for some deceptive or malicious purpose. Adulterants may also be accidentally or unknowingly introduced into substances.”
I must add that it is also stated:”The FSIS meaning the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the FDA has testing methods to analyze cyromazine and melamine. The FDA and FSIS will test to ensure our meat, poultry, and dairy products are safe for consumer consumption. The FDA has made available to food manufacturers a procedure providing a general guide for the sample preparation and analysis of wheat gluten and pet food matrices for melamine using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, the same methodology “.
Now, I never took biology or chemistry in high school as I was more a history and sociology buff, so I was not aware what this Melamine was, or what it was doing in the food supply. This is why I wanted to write this, to let others know about it, if they had not known, and make people a bit more aware of what is exactly going, and in China, that they use this stuff like they do. Was the 2007 Pet Food, 2007 Ohio Fish Recall, and now the 2008 baby milk recall intentional? I can not say. The sources seem to point to one thing, Melamine.
It seems to me, with all the sick, dying, and deceased babies, and the animals that died as well in the past, why not stop the use of this Melamine? Is it because it falsifies the protein content to look more better? Or is it for money? Another questions I can not answer, but hope it will end real soon.
Below are the sites in which I located information on melamine.