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Author Topic: February 2009, early reports new problems with Chinese milk and infant formula  (Read 7792 times)
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« on: February 19, 2009, 12:10:00 PM »

China probing increase in kidney ailments in babies
Updated Thu. Feb. 19 2009 7:32 AM ET

The Canadian Press

BEIJING -- Chinese health officials are investigating a growing number of cases of kidney stones in babies, state media said Thursday, months after a tainted milk scandal in which hundreds of thousands of children who drank melamine-contaminated formula suffered similar ailments.

While the Health Ministry has not directly linked the new cases to dairy products, parents are blaming formula made by Dumex Baby Food Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of France's Groupe Danone SA. Dumex insists that its products are safe, and health officials said tests showed they are free of melamine, an industrial chemical.
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« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2009, 12:29:15 PM »

AP picked this up too..troubling... Undecided

and then this denial...

AQSIQ: No Melamine In Dumex Milk Powder Products

In response earlier reports in the international media and complaints from Chinese citizens about problems with Dumex dairy products China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine has published the results of its investigation on Dumex infant formula milk powder products and says that it found no evidence of melamine contamination.

It is understood that after the Sanlu Milk Powder accident, AQSIQ conducted a special check on all the dairy products produced before September 2008 and found there was no melamine in Dumex's milk powder products. In addition, Dumex also checkedall its milk powder made before September 14, 2008, and found that those products do not contain the harmful chemical either.

AQSIQ has supervised and checked Dumex products after receiving complaints from Chinese consumers saying that the company's products had made many babies sick, and it has asked Dumex to conduct its own tests before submitting a report on the investigation results.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2009, 12:38:09 PM by Carol » Logged

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” — Margaret Mead

United we stand     Divided we fall....
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2009, 01:48:29 PM »

Nestle and the Chinese government are denying it, but not describing testing. Parents
are complaining and children showing up with ultrasound findings. Delayed reaction?
After all, this was September, October of 2008. New problem and Nestle again?
Even the US FDA reported finding low levels of melamine in Nestle products from
cleaning solutions and packaging that were "acceptable." Sure bears watching.

An official from the Shanghai municipal bureau of quality and technical supervision said the milk product, which is still on sale nationwide, is under investigation but no conclusions have been drawn.
The bureau said it has not received any cases in which infants have suffered from kidney stones after drinking the Dumex products.

Meanwhile, China's quality watchdog said it is researching the safety of an unapproved protein additive in a premium line of milk produced by Mengniu.
The additive, a milk protein called OMP, is found only in Mengniu's Telunsu line. The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said results would be published at a later date.(China Daily)

A milk protein called OMP?

Xinhua said the Dumex investigation was triggered by overseas media reports last month that some four dozen babies suffered kidney-related illnesses after drinking the company's milk. It did not identify the reports. But Radio Free Asia, a U.S.-funded radio station, reported on its Web site that the baby of a woman in southwestern China's Guizhou province had developed kidney stones after drinking Dumex formula for seven months. In the report, she said she had evidence that 48 other babies from around the country had gotten sick after drinking Dumex milk.

« Last Edit: February 19, 2009, 05:27:48 PM by 3catkidneyfailure » Logged
mary blonde
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Sabbath RIP 1996 - 2009

« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2009, 03:45:10 PM »

Don't these companies ever learn???
Now they have some new "unknown" protein they're adding?
MY boyfriend & I have been using only local, 100% organic milk since all this started with the melamilk.
Now I find I have 2 HUGE kidney stones. Someone at work used to bring in White Rabbit candy for the community "feed trough". Remeber when they got recalled? I'm flying to Maui to see a urologist tomorrow to see about getting these stones out. Definitely going to have them checked for melamine.

Got my coffee,
Got my cigarettes,
Got my computer
and took my Prozac...
It's gonna be a great day!
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« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2009, 03:53:30 PM »

A milk protein called OMP?   

Osteoblasts are the building blocks of not liking this... Angry

China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine has issued a letter in which it asks its affiliate in Inner Mongolia to order Mengniu not to use osteoblast milk protein in its Milk Deluxe product.
According to Mengniu's specifications, osteoblast milk protein is a kind of protein taken from milk and it is useful for restoring body tissue. And insulin-like growth factors, commonly referred to as the Growth Hormone/IGF-1 Axis, is a kind of active protein polypeptide necessary for growth hormones to function.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2009, 03:55:04 PM by Carol » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2009, 03:53:52 PM »

OMP--also known as Milk Basic Protein or MBP in other countries:

The latest weird food idea: osteoblast milk product
I had never heard of OMP (osteoblast milk product or protein) until this morning when a reporter from the Associated Press in Beijing sent me an e-mail about it.  A milk company in China, it seems, is adding OMP to its milk and the Chinese food safety agency is investigating. The companies say OMP is safe and FDA-approved.

It didn’t take long to find out what this is about.  Japanese investigators isolated a protein, kininogen, from milk and demonstrated in laboratory experiments that it promotes bone growth.  These and other experiments in rats and people also show that it stimulates bone formation (I haven’t read them so I can’t comment on their quality).

FDA approved?  Not exactly.  In response to a petition from a company called Snow Foods, the FDA agreed that the use of milk proteins as additives to dairy foods is GRAS (generally recognized as safe) for human consumption.  But its “approval” letter assumes that the proteins are mainly lactoferrin [remember lactoferrin in New Zealand was found to be contaminated with melamine] and lactoperoxidase, which are pretty well known to be safe. The FDA’s letter says nothing about the use of kininogen as a bone-promoting agent.
The Farmland-DMV joint venture holds the worldwide exclusive rights to activated lactoferrin for use in food safety. Lactoferrin is a protein found in milk and has been shown to be important in infant nutrition, nutrient transport and support of the immune system.

One of New Zealand's most expensive dairy exports, lactoferrin, which sells for about $500,000 a tonne, has been contaminated with melamine.

But food safety officials say they don't know how the contamination occurred and are now looking at whether the melamine was in the raw milk.

The officials declined to say which manufacturer sent the contaminated lactoferrin to China, where the melamine was detected by in-market testing in the wake of the sale of poisoned milk as infant formula.

Only three New Zealand dairy companies produce lactoferrin - a milk protein used in sports drinks, infant formulas and capsules sold as dietary supplements to boost people's immune systems - and Fonterra and Westland have both told NZPA their products were not involved.

That scandal also scarred Tatua, which was selling another specialist protein, lactoferrin -- reportedly worth about $500,000 a tonne -- only to have testing in China last September show levels up to 4 parts per million (ppm) of melamine.

The problems were exacerbated when tests on lactoferrin made by Westland Milk at Hokitika --using a Tatua process - also showed melamine contamination of about 1 ppm. South Korean authorities also found trace amounts of melamine in Tatua lactoferrin. The source of the melamine was finally isolated to a type of disposable filter used right at the end of the processing. Chinese authorities are also investigating a milkpowder product, called Dumex, produced by one of the country's largest dairies and a unit of France's Groupe Danone SA.

« Last Edit: February 19, 2009, 04:43:14 PM by DMS » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2009, 04:09:13 PM »

Mengniu spokeswoman Zhao Yuanhua said the statement was issued in response to a report Wednesday by, a Chinese business news Web site, on the presence of OMP and IGF-1, a growth hormone, in the Telunsu line. The statement also said that IGF-1 naturally occurred in milk and was not present in unusually high levels in Telunsu.
Tritscher said she had not heard about the protein substance OMP but said that the growth hormone IGF-1 was harmless if taken orally.


I'm not saying the OMP is the problem, but aren't elevated IGF-1 levels also associated with rBGH milk?  And isn't that "harmless" designation fairly controversial?  These are just my initial brain blurps on the news:

Milk from rBGH-treated cows contains higher levels of IGF-1 (Insulin Growth Factor-1). Humans also naturally have IGF-1, and increased levels in humans have been linked to colon and breast cancer. Even though no direct connection has been made between elevated IGF-1 levels in milk and elevated IGF-1 levels or cancer in humans, some scientists have expressed concern over the possibility of this relationship16.

« Last Edit: February 19, 2009, 07:31:38 PM by DMS » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2009, 04:39:39 PM »

Looks like the OMP is from New Zealand:

China is investigating the safety of a high-tech milk additive made from New Zealand ingredients which is claimed to aid the absorption of calcium and promote bone growth.

The Mengniu Dairy Group Co -- one of the country's biggest dairies -- has been adding Tatua Cooperative Dairy Company osteoblast milk protein (OMP) to a deluxe milk product.

Mengniu claimed in its statement OMP was jointly developed by Mengniu and a New Zealand dairy research institute.

Other commentators have said OMP is a term coined by Mengliu, but the original study on the protein in 2003 was done by Snow Brand Milk Company, one of the largest milk producers in Japan , who called the bone growth factor "milk basic protein".

In response to a petition from Snow Foods, the FDA agreed that the use of milk proteins as additives to dairy foods is GRAS (generally recognised as safe) for human consumption. But its letter assumed that the proteins were mainly an iron-binding protein called lactoferrin and lactoperoxidase, and did not refer to OMP or milk basic protein as a bone-promoting agent.

Dear Dr. Kruger:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responding to the notice, dated March 3, 2006, that you submitted on behalf of Snow Brand Milk Products Co., Ltd. (Snow Brand) in accordance with the agency's proposed regulation, proposed 21 CFR 170.36 (62 FR 18938; April 17, 1997; Substances Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS); the GRAS proposal). FDA received the notice on March 6, 2006, filed it on March 8, 2006, and designated it as GRAS Notice No. GRN 000196.

For the purposes of this letter FDA describes the subject of the notice as "bovine milk basic protein fraction" (BMBPF). The notice informs FDA of the view of Snow Brand that BMBPF is GRAS, through scientific procedures, for use as an ingredient of food providing between 10 and 40 milligrams(mg) per serving of BMBPF in several food categories described in Table 1 below.

As part of its notice, Snow Brand includes the report of a panel of individuals (Snow Brand's GRAS panel) who evaluated the data and information that are the basis for Snow Brand's GRAS determination. Snow Brand considers the members of its GRAS panel to be qualified by scientific training and experience to evaluate the safety of substances added to food. Snow Brand's GRAS panel discusses the intended use of BMBPF, the history of safe exposure, and unpublished corroborative information.

Table 1
Intended uses of BMBPF Food Category Serving Size1 BMBPF (mg/serving)
Cottage cheese 110 grams (g) 10
Imitation milk (including rice and soy milk) 240 milliliters (mL) 40
Juice (100% citrus and citrus blends, prune and vegetable juices) 240 mL 40
Meal replacement bar 40 g  40
Meal replacement drink 240 mL 40
Milk (skim, 1%, kefir - fluid and dry forms) 240 mL 40
Processed cheese 30 g 30
Salad dressing 2 30 g 10
Yogurt 3 225 g 40


Based on the information provided by Snow Brand, as well as other information available to FDA, the agency has no questions at this time regarding Snow Brand's conclusion that BMBPF is GRAS under the intended conditions of use. The agency has not, however, made its own determination regarding the GRAS status of the subject use of BMBPF. As always, it is the continuing responsibility of Snow Brand to ensure that food ingredients that the firm markets are safe, and are otherwise in compliance with all applicable legal and regulatory requirements.

In accordance with proposed 21 CFR 170.36(f), a copy of the text of this letter responding to GRN 000196, as well as a copy of the information in this notice that conforms to the information in the proposed GRAS exemption claim (proposed 21 CFR 170.36(c)(1)), is available for public review and copying on the homepage of the Office of Food Additive Safety (on the Internet at


Laura M. Tarantino, Ph.D.
Office of Food Additive Safety
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition

« Last Edit: February 19, 2009, 04:45:13 PM by DMS » Logged

None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.
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« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2009, 05:23:40 PM »

What do you all say that we break this off as a new thread under food recalls called

February 2009, early reports new problems with Chinese milk and infant formula

beginning with Shadowmice's post above under recalls non-pet food rather than
page 101 of this thread? Then all could transfer their posts one at a time under
this new thread?
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« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2009, 05:25:57 PM »

I can split the thread and move all the posts at once.  You want shadowmice's post and everything below that split off, correct?

« Last Edit: February 19, 2009, 05:36:19 PM by catbird » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2009, 04:53:56 PM »

Feb 26, 2009
Wyeth milk powder cleared 

BEIJING - CHINESE regulators have determined that baby powder made by US company Wyeth did not contain unsafe levels of the industrial chemical melamine, state media said on Thursday.
The country's product-safety regulator had looked into the company's baby powder following Chinese consumer accusations that it had caused kidney stones in children, Xinhua news agency said.

However, Wyeth's products were found to be in compliance with accepted melamine levels by the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine, the agency said.

Wyeth said earlier this week that it had received complaints that children who had been fed its baby milk powder in China had developed kidney stones, but denied its products were unsafe.

The accusations were the latest in a rash of reports of sick babies that has raised new concerns long after last year's tainted baby formula scandal was declared over by Chinese authorities.

Authorities this month investigated the domestically produced milk powder of Danone Dumex, a unit of French food giant Danone, after similar consumer allegations.

The product-quality regulator later cleared Danone, although the health ministry said last week it was investigating why children may be suffering kidney problems if not through tainted milk.

Last year, melamine contamination of baby powder led to the deaths of at least six infants and sickened 300,000 others. It was found to have been added to milk products to give the appearance of higher protein levels. -- AFP

« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2009, 08:38:50 AM »

I'm attaching to this thread, news about testing for melamine, done at Purdue.  Apologies if it was posted elsewhere:

« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2009, 02:20:28 PM »

Sure looks, spartycats, like this technique would provide rapid and almost instant assessments of
infant formula powders for melamine content down to 1 ppm. Thanks. Wonder if the FDA knows
about this particular technique. I saw no dates in the article, but presume it has to be after
fall of 2008.
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2009, 02:33:29 PM »

Web publication date of the article was April 2009.
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