F.D.A.: Any level of melamine concerning in formula
October 03, 2008
by FoodBusinessNews.net Staff
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration completed an interim safety and risk assessment of melamine in foods. The risk assessment comes in light of melamine contamination of milk products in China.
The F.D.A. came to the conclusion any level of melamine or melamine-related compounds in infant formula raises public health concerns as formula is often the sole source of nutrition for an infant, risks of the presence and co-ingestion of more than one melamine-tainted food, and the fact premature infants are often smaller and have immature kidney function and thus are more vulnerable to negative side effects from contamination. Kidney problems are a major health risk from melamine consumption.
"There is too much uncertainty to set a level in infant formula and rule out any public health concern," the F.D.A. said in a statement. "However, it is important to understand that this does not mean that any exposure to any detectable level of melamine and melamine-related compounds in formula will result in harm to infants."
The F.D.A. said in other food products the presence of melamine and melamine-related compounds below 2.5 parts per million does not raise concern. This is also based on a worst-case scenario when 50% of a diet is contaminated at this level.
"F.D.A. continues to screen products, collaborate with foreign governments and their regulatory agencies and monitor reports of contamination from international sources to help ensure that potentially contaminated products from foreign sources are examined if imported into the United States," the F.D.A. said. "If products are adulterated because they contain melamine and/or a melamine-related compound, the agency will take appropriate actions to prevent the products from entering commerce."