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Consumers Union has urged the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to expand testing of infant formula for melamine and related compounds, and to recall all contaminated products.

According to the statement released by the organization, “Consumers Union noted that FDA posted new test data on infant formula on December 22. The test data said that a melamine derivative, cyanuric acid, had been found in two additional samples of formula - bringing the total to 4 contaminated samples out of 89 tested. ‘That is almost 5 percent of tested samples contaminated, a relatively high rate,’ stated Urvashi Rangan, Ph.D., a senior scientist at Consumers Union. Three of the four positive samples found by the FDA are Enfamil with Iron or Enfamil Lipil with Iron milk-based powder, and the fourth is Nestle Good Start Supreme with Iron milk-based liquid.

“’The FDA needs to step up and expand melamine testing. The failure to properly inform people about these findings undermines consumer confidence in a fundamental product that millions of parents depend on,’ Rangan said.”

The presence of melamine in baby formula has been the subject of much debate over the past few months. Back in December, Consumers Union has called on the FDA to “immediately make public all of the results of its tests for melamine contamination,” which had been found in baby formula manufactured by the three major US formula suppliers - Abbott Laboratories, Nestle and Mead Johnson.

In China, it has been reported that the melamine was used deliberately in baby formula to artificially inflate the product’s protein levels. Melamine contamination reportedly has been responsible for three deaths and the sickening of more than 50,000 infants. In the US, reports to this point suggest that the melamine contamination occurred during the manufacturing process, and was not put in the product intentionally.

KC's View:
There is no excuse, in my view, for the foot dragging taking place in the FDA when it comes to broad and extensive testing of baby formula for melamine and related compounds. None.