I just read from my FDA feed that there is a recall for White Rabbit Candies in the United States due to possible contamination of melamine. Not only that, Cadbury is also recalling 11 types of chocolate products found to be laced in melamine. Remember, all of this started when the infant milk in China was found positive with melamine.
What is melamine and why should we be concerned about it when I have read in an article that “melamine in food products is considered safe by Hong Kong health authorities at 2.5 parts per million or less.” First what is melamine? Melamine is a plastic made from copolymerizing a white crystalline solid with formaldehyde; it is also a compound used in resins used to manufacture synthetic resins in leather tanning. Warning signs!!! Leather tanning? Formaldehyde?!? Plastics??? The scandal in China broke out when it was reported that Sanlu’s infant formula is causing kidney stones in infants and children. It can also cause urinary tract infections, eye and skin irritations… Due to the serious effect of the infant milk which was found to cause death, our BFAD has also banned liquid and powdered milk, candy and biscuits, chocolate bars and drinks, including yogurt and dairy drinks from China— which includes my favorite candy– White Rabbit.
What is bothering is the fact that as usual it was found out that Chinese milk macufacturers has already received complaints about the milk since 2007. Remember during the SARS, including the Avian flu crisis, China has not been upfront about the real number of casualties to the media. China has been so scared of liabilities that they are hiding behind their “red cloak.” Now Chinese officials believe that suppliers added melamine– which is rich in nitrogen, to watered-down milk to deceive quality tests for protein. Do we expect full disclosure from China? Currently, the EU, the US and other countries has banned the importation and use of dairy products coming from China. As usual, all these– when the damage has been done already.