The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the Food and Drug Administration has found "one positive" sample of traces of melamine in infant formula made in the United States. The report doesn't give information on which baby formula tested positive, or which manufacturers are involved. It also doesn't give out any recall information or call to action for parents, as the government determined the level of melamine was not dangerous.
UPDATE: New detailed reports say that the formula in question that tested positive for melamine was Enfamil Lipil with Iron. Also, Nestle Good Start with Iron tested positive for a melamine byproduct.
The FDA says it's "no cause for concern," but try telling that to parents after melamine poisonings in China caused numerous deaths and many sick babies. I look at all recall reports as part of my job, but also as a concerned parent, and this one definitely made my heart start beating a lot faster -- all the more since my formula-guzzling daughter has been spitting up copiously for the last two weeks. Already the paranoid parent in me had me researching on the Web to see if she was having a reaction to her vaccinations, a reaction to her flu shot, an egg allergy, a simple virus, acid reflux or, the latest theory, a temporary lactose intolerance. Now I'm thinking, what if it's melamine?
This is the thinking that most of us go through now when they see these recall notices. The global nature of products makes us susceptible to breakdowns in the system far away from here. Last year's scares about lead paint really hammered that home. Recall notices on that score still come in fast and furious, but most major manufacturers are testing so rigorously now that most products don't make it to the market anymore if there's something amiss.
The latest rash of scary recalls have instead been about bad product designs and bad manufacturing -- cribs that don't work right, soccer nets that can choke and bassinets that collapse.
And now, melamine, not just in Halloween candy sold in Canada, but in nutrition for the most vulnerable among us. I'm glad the government has decided that this particular positive test is not dangerous, but I am waiting on baited breath for more information about brand names, and other testing.
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