by Marion Nestle
Nov 25 2008

Melamine esoterica

I am hearing rumors that the melamine crystals that caused kidney blockage in Chinese infants are not the same as the ones that harmed cats and dogs last year.  The crystals in pets’ kidneys were formed of melamine and its by-product, cyanuric acid.  The ones in infants seem to be made of melamine linked to uric acid.  Fortunately, these are not nearly so lethal.

Uric acid is not a contaminant.  It is a normal breakdown product of components of DNA and RNA, excreted in urine.  Babies – and adults –  normally excrete uric acid through the kidneys. Really, eating melamine is not a good idea and putting it into pet food, animal feed, or human food is nothing short of evil.