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Author Topic: (Melamine Suspected) Chinese Officials Say Baby Formula Tied to Kidney Stones  (Read 253385 times)
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menusux
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« on: September 11, 2008, 09:45:28 AM »

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122115170115523971.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

Wall Street Journal September 11, 2008

"Chinese health officials said contaminated baby formula could be responsible for an unusual spate of kidney-stone cases that are afflicting dozens of infants across China, rekindling concern about safety problems with the country's products.

"Officials are examining a suspicious increase in the number of infant kidney-stone cases in at least four provinces, the government said Thursday. In Gansu province, in China's northwest, 59 cases of kidney stones in infants have been reported so far this year -- including at least one related death, according to China's state-run Xinhua news agency. By comparison, there were no such cases reported in the previous two years in Gansu.

"China's Ministry of Health, in a statement late Thursday, said that after an initial investigation it had a "high degree of suspicion" that at least some of the cases were caused by ingestion of infant milk powder contaminated with melamine. Last year, melamine was found to be responsible for sickening or killing thousands of pets in the U.S., after the animals ate pet food containing a Chinese-made ingredient tainted with the industrial chemical.

"It wasn't immediately clear if any of the possibly tainted baby formula has been exported. The health ministry said it suspects the contaminated formula was produced by Shijiazhuang Sanlu Group Co., a dairy company based in Hebei province, and that Sanlu had announced a recall of all baby-milk powder produced before Aug. 6. Officials for Sanlu couldn't be reached for comment on the ministry's statement.

"Speaking earlier Thursday, in response to Chinese media reports that many of the sick infants may have consumed Sanlu-branded formula, a Sanlu spokeswoman said the company was conducting its own nationwide investigation, and that results from lab analyses are still pending. "There isn't necessarily a link between powdered milk and getting kidney stones," the Sanlu spokeswoman said in a phone interview. "Our products have passed quality certification and are in accordance with national standards."

"In 2006, Sanlu won a Chinese-government export license from for its milk powder, according to a statement on its Web site. But it couldn't immediately be determined to which countries it ships formula, or whether any of the possibly tainted batch had been sold overseas. The Chinese health ministry said in its statement that it has notified the World Health Organization and "relevant countries" about the situation.

"Underscoring the high stakes of the issue, however, the illnesses and the government's investigation were given prominent attention by the largely state-controlled media on Thursday. The health ministry in its statement said that the State Council, China's cabinet, considered the issue "highly important," and said that other agencies have been dispatched to inspect Sanlu's production facilities and to examine stocks of milk powder throughout the country.

"China's product safety came under intense scrutiny last year after a series of incidents involving tainted or unsafe toys, toothpaste, dumplings and other goods made in the country. The issues prompted calls in the U.S. and elsewhere for stepped-up checks of imports, and triggered harsh punishments by the Chinese government for some of those found to be responsible. That included the execution of the former head of China's State Food and Drug Administration for accepting bribes to approve drugs for the domestic market.

"China has had problems at home with bad milk powder in the past. In 2004, 171 babies were hospitalized, and more than a dozen died, after consuming counterfeit milk powder that had little or no nutritional value. At the time, officials initiated a crackdown that resulted in hundreds of arrests of officials and businesspeople who allowed the sale of the formula.

"Kidney stones are crystalline masses that, while generally treatable, can cause extremely painful blockages. They are relatively uncommon in most babies, although they do occur often in premature infants.

"It's unclear why the current spate of cases in China didn't receive attention sooner. The surge in numbers appears to have been dramatic in several locations: One doctor in the eastern city of Nanjing, in Jiangsu province, said he has seen more than 40 children with kidney stones in his hospital since July, compared to just five-to-seven such cases per year in the past.

"In addition to Gansu and Jiangsu, Xinhua reported that similar kidney-stone cases have also surfaced in central China's Hubei province, and in Shaanxi province in the north. It said that parents of some affected babies said they bought the milk at sharply discounted prices."



http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSPEK34255620080911

Reuters September 11, 2008

Baby dies as new milk powder scare spreads across China

"Traces of cyanuramide, which can cause kidney stones, were found in Sanlu-brand milk formula, the Ministry of Health said late on Thursday. The Sanlu Group issued an immediate recall of milk formula made before Aug 6."



http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-09/11/content_9932520.htm

Xinhuanet.com September 11, 2008

China's Sanlu admits contamination of baby milk powder products

"Sanlu Group, a leading Chinese dairy producer, said it had found in its self-check that some of its baby milk powder products were contaminated by tripolycyanamide.

"It has decided to recall all the baby milk powder it had produced before Aug. 6 this year.

"Recently, quite a number of infant kidney stone cases were reported in Gansu and other provinces. Investigations showed that most of the baby patients had drank the Sanlu formula before.

"At least one baby in the northwest province had died as a result of kidney stones."



The most recent story is WSJ and they're the ones who bring up the Chinese government's suspicions the formula contains melamine.
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JustMe
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« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2008, 09:54:30 AM »

Holy moly.  I still say we should test some people food.  Poor babies.   Cry
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Arlo
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« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2008, 10:10:30 AM »

That is beyond disgusting.  The most powerless members of society. Babies and pets.

And still "they" say it's too expensive to do real protein testing.  They want to stick to their 100+ year old nitrogen test. I see another round of letter writing in my future.
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menusux
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« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2008, 10:12:39 AM »

We now have CBC reporting that traces of melamine HAVE been found in the baby formula:

http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2008/09/11/baby-powder-china.html

CBC News September 11, 2008

Chinese baby dies, formula scare spreads to other provinces

"Traces of contamination have been found in a brand of baby formula that may have killed one baby in China and sickened others with kidney stones, health officials said Thursday.

"Traces of melamine (cyanuramide), which can cause kidney stones, were found in Sanlu-brand milk formula, the country's health ministry said.

"Sanlu, a Chinese dairy company, has recalled formula made before Aug. 6. A spokesperson for Sanlu said the company is investigating whether counterfeit formula was mislabelled.

"Doctors in China's northwestern Gansu province said it is rare for babies to develop kidney stones, never mind 14 cases at once, the official Xinhua news agency and China Daily reported.

"Since then, cases have emerged at two other hospitals in Gansu, as well six other provinces in central, eastern and northern China, Xinhua said.

"One baby with kidney stones has reportedly died but there is no clear link to the milk powder, the news agency quoted a Gansu provincial health department spokesman as saying.

"Health officials in Gansu were aware of the potential risks since July 16, Xinhua said. No explanation was given for the delay in disclosure.

"Kidney stones are masses of salts or minerals that crystallize in the kidney. If the stones become large enough to stop the flow of urine from the kidney, they need to be removed surgically or by other methods.

"In 2004, at least 13 babies in China's eastern Anhui province died after they drank fake formula that investigators said had no nutritional value. The deaths prompted food and health investigations and international concern.

"Last year, the former head of China's food and drug administration was executed for taking bribes to approve untested medicine.

"Also last year, Canada's food watchdog said it had intercepted a shipment of corn gluten from China that tested positive for melamine. Canadian fish farms and pet foods have also been affected by melamine contamination."

Thinking about it, babies get the same formula every day, just as pets got the same daily food and the melamine could be used to falsify the protein content of the formula, just as it was in the "wheat gluten" and "rice protein concentrate".

Just awful!!
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Carol
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« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2008, 10:15:49 AM »

well, the powers that be did not react the way they should have with "our canaries in the coal mine" and I for one knew something like this would happen sooner or later.... Angry

Wonder if this will make the mainstream media here in the US...and help to make changes sonner rather than later!
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Arlo
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« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2008, 10:20:40 AM »

I have forwarded Menusux' links to CNN. I feel that anything with protein in it is suspect.   Cry
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menusux
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« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2008, 10:26:11 AM »

http://chemicalland21.com/industrialchem/organic/Melamine.htm

"MELAMINE also called Cyanuramide, or Triaminotriazine, a colourless, is a crystalline substance belonging to the family of heterocyclic organic compounds, which are used principally as a starting material for the manufacture of synthetic resins. Melamine is manufactured by heating dicyandiamide under pressure. Its most important reaction is the forming resinous compounds of high molecular weight, with formaldehyde. These resins form under the influence of heat but, once formed, are insoluble and infusible. Usually formulated with fillers and pigments, they are molded into dishes, containers, utensils, handles, and the like or used as laminating agents or coating materials for wood, paper, and textiles. Formica and Melmac are well-known trade names for products based on melamine resins. Butylated melamine resins, made by incorporating butyl alcohol into the melamine-formaldehyde reaction mixture, are fluids used as ingredients of paints and varnishes."
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purringfur
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« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2008, 10:27:27 AM »

This certainly should make the MSM!  I don't have time to read things now, but this is TERRIBLE!
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Carol
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« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2008, 10:29:20 AM »

I emailed this to Marion Nestle....she authored that book--Pet Food Politics and invited her to come read here!
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Sandi K
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« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2008, 10:30:28 AM »

WTF?! This is outrageous! Does China put melamine in every d--n thing they make?  If there isnt a large public outcry over this, I will be even madder than I am already.  And now I am even more worried about pet food if that was possible.   Sad Angry Cry Lips sealed Huh  
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YesBiscuit!
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« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2008, 10:35:59 AM »

Let me guess:  some poor schmuck will be executed, the baby formula factory will be razed in the middle of the night and the FDA will issue a blurb about how there's no reason for concern, we have the safest food supply in the world...
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Arlo
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« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2008, 10:38:34 AM »

I just e-mailed the links to newstips at the New York Times.
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menusux
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« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2008, 10:51:26 AM »

http://www.dairyreporter.com/Financial/Fonterra-s-stake-in-San-Lu-given-all-clear

Dairy Reporter April 6, 2006

"Fonterra (NZ), the world's biggest exporter of dairy products, said today that it has gained approval from the Chinese government for its purchase of a 43 per cent stake in dairy company San Lu.

"San Lu, which is based in Hebei province, is China's biggest milk-powder producer and one of the 'big six' Chinese dairies that control over half of China's fresh milk market.

"While San Lu is already a long-time customer of Fonterra's, the New Zealand group is keen to gain a greater foothold in China's rapidly growing dairy sector."

http://www.sanlu.com/en/SanLu.aspx?sortId=5&id=5&Is=4

SanLu Home Page

http://www.sanlu.com/en/ProductList.aspx?cid=23&Is=1

BeiBei Series Products--these are the formulas shown on their website.  There's a lot "missing" on it--links for QC, aftermarket guarantees, etc., have no copy on them.  The site provides no information as to if any of SanLu's products are exported, which one(s), if any, and what markets they might be exported to.

OK--more info from USA Today--

http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2008-09-11-tainted-formula_N.htm

USA Today September 11, 2008

FDA: Melamine found in baby formula made in China

"Reports in Chinese newspapers say that Chinese infant formula has been linked to kidney problems in babies there because the formula contains melamine — the same industrial contaminant that poisoned thousands of dogs and cats in the USA in 2007.

"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says that no U.S.-approved baby formula is manufactured in China. However there is a "grey market" for Chinese-made formula that is sometimes sold in Asian markets in the United States, says the agency's Siobhan DeLancey.

"Melamine is a by-product of plastic manufacturing. It can be used to mimic high-protein additives such as wheat and rice gluten.

"The FDA is preparing a Health Information Advisory on the problem and expects to release it later today."

BTW--baby formula is the ONLY food product FDA has legal authority to issue a recall on, as the laws stand now.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2008, 10:58:53 AM by menusux » Logged
Arlo
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« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2008, 10:55:31 AM »

I find it interesting that the Reuters article which many newspapers will pick up, doesn't mention that cyanuramide is melamine (and all that entails). Is that deliberate or an accident?  I have contacted Reuters to ask why the history of melamine has been left out.
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catbird
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« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2008, 10:56:44 AM »

Darn, darn, and double-darn!   Angry I hate the fact that I am not at all surprised.  Every bit of manufactured protein product is probably full of melamine.  Look out for that hydrolyzed vegetable protein in sauces, mixes, and so forth!

I wonder how much baby formula in this country uses protein ingredients sourced in you-know-where.

I have had kidney stones.  To think of a poor baby in the amount of pain that this causes is beyond horrible!  It's the worst pain in the world, bar none.  I wonder if that is what the poor pets with the melamine crystals suffered too.  Cry Cry Cry Cry
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