Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Melamine in Formula: Can the FDA be trusted?


As consumers have painstakingly learned in the past few years - the FDA does not always function in the best interest of the people. But when it comes to monitoring what is fed to American babies, you would think they have some sense of decency and a sound conscience, right? Sometimes I wonder what they do there, what is their typical workday, are our tax dollars used wisely to protect the public or does our hard earned money fund their lunches, breaks, and vacations? I don't believe we would have so many undisclosed issues that affect the health and well being of Americans if this government agency was proactive and truly had our best interest in mind - not corporate dollars.

For starters, melamine is a synthetic chemical. It is used in milk and formula as a cheap filler to mimic the proper amount of protein when it is not truly present. All for the sake of profit of course. It can cause kidney stones, death, and other ailments. Last year it was responsible for the death of thousands of U.S. dogs and cats. The question is: how can any amount of melamine be considered safe? Should a substance such as this be present in food at all, moreover infant formula? If the argument is that no matter what it will be leached into the food from the production line, why aren't there regulations in place that ban any melamine in production equipment so that there is no cross-contamination?

I am glad that for the most part I do not buy 'big brand' foods in the first place (see list below), so the contamination is not a concern for our family. But when researching baby formula just in case my milk supply will not be sufficient with the arrival of our baby girl, it was eye opening and shocking to read all the ingredients in the average Similac. That is when I decided on Earth's Best or Baby's Only organic formula, hopefully there will not be too many surprises with that. Most of the contaminated items are processed foods with ingredients you will not be able to pronounce. So if you already made the choice of making your own food from scratch and you invest in organic and/or natural ingredients, then don't be too concerned. My articles are here to inform you, not scare you!

List of melamine contaminated foods.

List by specific brands and names.

I thought this response in regard to the statement 'FDA approved' by a consumer is ironic and quite appropriate:

"The same FDA that botched the pet food recall? The same FDA that uses company sponsored trials and reports to base their medical/pharmaceutical guidelines on? The FDA that allows carcinogenic chemicals to be used in our beauty products? And babies toys and products? Give me a break. I would never accept the FDA's word or seal of approval for anything."

Unfortunately they have lost the trust of the people.

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