« | Main | »

The Dairy Crises in China

By Larry Seitz | October 9, 2008

The horror of children becoming ill, leading to death after consuming milk products in China this year, is but another black eye for exports from this country. 

The unfortunate event was based upon the chemical addition of melamine, an organic chemical substance, composed predominantly of nitrogen.   

The commercial uses of melamine are plentiful.  When combined with formaldehyde, it produces a melamine resin.  This organic substance has been used as the basis of plastics, adhesives, varnishes, as well as a cleaning product.  Many applications are found in the home such as countertops, fabrics, house wares, glues, and flame-retardants.  It is also a major component as a colorant used in inks and plastics.

In 2007, pet food was recalled after these products, exported from China, were found to have unsafe levels of granular melamine.  This was found in the wheat gluten, a component organic food source.  Reports uncovered these unsafe levels causing serious illnesses and deaths in cats and dogs.  These higher levels were positioned inaccurately as falsely appearing increased protein.

Mainland China, a major producer of melamine had used this popular chemical polymer in feedstock and baby formula nationwide.  It was an accepted additive that gave a false appearance in diluted or poor quality food products that the protein content was higher.  In effect, by raising the total nitrogen content one assumed that the protein level had risen.  

This year, in September, a scandal uncovered the adulteration using melamine added into milk and infant formula produced in China.  Because of the high nitrogen content of melamine, it can give a false positive of protein content higher than it’s true value. 

These altered dairy products produced kidney stones and renal failure among young children.  By late September, it was reported that over 53,000 people had become ill.  Subsequently, over 13,000 were hospitalized leading to four infant deaths.

The United States Food and Drug Administration has established safe levels of melamine for adults.  It is hoped that the same consideration will be offered for the safety and health of children in the near future.


 ©Makayla Milk looks on with great interest knowing that she is one of the healthy SunPower Kidz™.


Topics: Welcoming Words | 1 Comment »

One Response to “The Dairy Crises in China”

  1. Yvonne Jones Says:
    October 14th, 2008 at 10:22 pm

    Neither of our recent presidential candidates. They would be amazed how two intelligent adults could talk, talk, talk and say nothing of any real interest. No answers to how they are going to pull together this country. They continue to have negative advertising and enough is enough…..very childish to me.

    If children were able to vote, they would have to pick an independent that will actually do something about making sure each of us (children) had medical insurance. A candidate who would make decisions to improve our economy, so they are not just eating macaroni and cheese or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. That is all that their parents could afford. They would pick a candidate that would be interested in how the present educational system is failing thousands of children, and doing something to fix the problem. A candidate that gives a damn that college education is out of control, and their parents may not be able to send them to college. A candidate that will finally do something about the energy shortage here and abroad. Over thirty years after the energy crisis, the changes are minimal. A candidate that would use diplomacy rather than force, because as the children all are taught, "Use your words, not your fists".

    So, so many other issues…..we waist our words belittling each other. Where oh where is that independent candidate….