The decision by the Food and Drug Administration to allow U.S.-manufactured infant formula contaminated with melamine or its byproducts onto store shelves is “seriously flawed” and medically risky because parents may feed their babies more than one product, according to scientists at the nonprofit group Consumers Union. The FDA detected melamine and its byproduct cyanuric acid separately in four of 89 containers of infant formula tested in the fall, but never at the same time. It was reported that a can of milk-based liquid Nestle Good Start Supreme Infant Formula with Iron contained traces of melamine while three different cans of Mead Johnson’s Enfamil LIPIL with Iron had traces of cyanuric acid.
The FDA says studies show potentially dangerous health effects from the industrial chemicals only when both are present. The lack of dual contamination is key, according to agency officials, and they use this as the basis for ordering no recalls of the tainted formula. In a letter dated January 9th, consumer advocates told FDA commissioner Andrew C. von Eschenbach and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary-Designate Tom Daschle that they were concerned the FDA was assuming parents would never feed their babies more than one type of formula. “FDA should regulate infant formula based on an assumption that infants may be exposed to melamine and cyanuric acid in combination,” the consumer advocates wrote in the letter.
The FDA says it is reviewing Consumers Union’s concerns. The agency says its tests “found that the U.S. supply of infant formula is safe.” The U.S. government began testing domestically-produced infant formula in September, soon after melamine-spiked formula was blamed in the deaths of babies in China. It should be noted that so far melamine has been implicated in the sickening of nearly 300,000 babies in China and killing at least six infants there.
There has been very little research on what levels of melamine are safe. Cats had kidney failure after eating 32 parts per million of cyanuric acid and 32 parts per million of melamine. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., who heads a panel that oversees the FDA budget, has reiterated her call for a zero-tolerance policy for melamine in domestic infant formula. She said the discovery of tainted formula “used by some of our most vulnerable populations should compel the FDA to move expeditiously to eliminate melamine and cyanuric acid from the manufacturing process.” I tend to agree with her stand on this issue.
Source: Associated Press
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.