by Marion Nestle
Nov 29 2008

FDA OK’s 1 ppm melamine in infant formula

Friday is a great day for releasing news that might be controversial.  The FDA announced a 1 ppm standard for safe levels of melamine in infant formula – provided cyanuric acid is not also present.  By this standard, the amount in the adulterated Chinese infant formula – 2,000 ppm or more – would be deemed demonstrably toxic.  The amount in the contaminated U.S. formula – 0.1 to 0.2 ppm – would be considered safe.  Of course zero would be better, but that seems hard to achieve in today’s chemically contaminated environment.  A 1 ppm standard is tough enough to give the FDA plenty of leeway in banning unsafe products.