Accidental Melamine Contamination?....I Think Not.
All three of the macro-nutrients (proteins, fats and carbohydrates) are composed of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen; with protein having an additional element of nitrogen that makes it very distinguishable.
In fact, nitrogen content is usually displayed on dog food and cattle feed labels in order to confirm protein content. Protein is essential to life and therefore products with high protein content are considered quality foods.
Many of you may remember dishes and serving pieces stamped "Melamac" on the bottom that became big in the 60s and 70s. This hard plastic was made of Melamine, an industrial chemical used to make laminates and fertilizers. It's original state is a white powder with no odor or taste and can only be detected with a specific test. It's main characteristic is a high nitrogen content.
This is where we can see it's not an accident that many products are being contaminated with melamine. Unscrupulous industries are fraudulently elevating the protein content of substandard foods by adding the chemical melamine.
The FDA has reported many U.S. products tainted with melamine including: dog & cat food, hot chocolate, infant formula, farm & fish feed and nutritional & medical supplements. The list is even longer for other countries and includes such items as ice-cream and chocolate. Most of the melamine laden products are coming from China and being shipped here and other places for consumption.
Recently the Chinese government prosecuted a ring of dairy companies who were diluting their milk up to 30% and replacing the protein content with melamine. Over 3,000 babies were sicken by the contaminated dairy and 6 died. Of the 21 dairy companies facing prosecution, only one (Sanlu Group) will face imprisonment and the others will most likely be fined.
Over exposure to Melamine can lead to kidney stones and irreversible kidney damage which can lead to death. People with kidney conditions, children and the elderly have a higher risk of death.
On a side note, this is one reason I use Shaklee supplements - They are not made and imported from China. 95% of all supplements sold in the U.S. are made and imported from China.