|CHINESE INFANT FORMULA CONTAMINATED|
On September 11, 2008, the Food and Drug Administration warned that contaminated infant formula from China might be for sale in certain US groceries.
Chinese infant formula has not been improved for sale in the US but some ethnic groceries, especially in cities with large ethnic populations, may have it on their shelves. FDA officials are urging consumers to avoid all infant formula from China, after several brands sold in that country came under suspicion of being contaminated with melamine, a chemical used in plastics. Officials said there have been reports from China of babies developing kidney stones as a result.
"We want people in those communities, if they are in the habit of buying those Chinese products, not to use them," said FDA spokeswoman Judy Leon. "We are doing this to be proactive."
"We're concerned that there may be some infant formula that may have gotten into the United States illegally and may be on the ethnic market," said Janice Oliver, deputy director of the FDA's food safety program. "No infant formula from China should be entering the United States, but in the past we have found it on at least one occasion."
Melamine is the same chemical involved in a massive pet food recall last year. It is not supposed to be added to any food ingredients, but suppliers in China sometimes mix it in to make foodstuffs appear to be high in protein. Melamine is rich in nitrogen, and standard tests for protein in bulk food ingredients measure levels of nitrogen.
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