October 4, 2008
Eating a tiny bit of a melamine, the chemical responsible for a global food safety scare, is not harmful except when it’s in baby formula, U.S. food safety officials said Friday.
Melamine-tainted formula has sickened more than 54,000 children in China and is being blamed for the deaths of at least four tots. The chemical has also turned up in products sold across Asia, ranging from candies, to chocolates, to coffee drinks, that used dairy ingredients from China. Authorities in California and Connecticut have found melamine in White Rabbit candies imported from China.
But infant formula made in the U.S. is safe, because manufacturers do not use any ingredients from China.
The Food and Drug Administration said Friday that its safety experts have concluded that eating a very tiny amount of melamine — 2.5 parts per million — would not raise health concerns, even if a person ate food that was tainted with the chemical every day.
Separately, a New Jersey company announced a recall of Chinese-made yogurt drinks Friday after FDA testing found melamine. The Blue Cat Flavor Drink, also called Lanmao, is sold nationwide in Asian groceries, said a spokesman for the company, Tristar Food Wholesale of Jersey City.