by Marion Nestle
Nov 25 2008

Melamine in U.S. infant formula?

Oh great.  So now trace amounts of melamine are turning up in infant formulas made by all the big makers.  The amounts –  0.1 to 0.2 ppm or less –  are way too low to be harmful, says the FDA.  This seems logical, but does this mean that trace amounts of melamine are in everything?  And it would be good to know what concentration of melamine mixed with cyanuric acid – or uric acid – is safe.  I can understand why the FDA might not want to get into all this but I wish the Associated Press could have gotten this information without having to file a freedom-of-information-act request.

Updates: Here’s the more circumspect account in the New York Times, and a skeptical commentary from  The Washington Post (November 29) reported specific figures: The FDA tested 87 infant formula products and has results for 77.  Of these, it found melamine at levels of .137 and .14 parts per million in Nestle Good Start Supreme Infant Formula with Iron in liquid form.  It also found cyanuric acid at levels between 0.245 ppm and 0.249 ppm in Enfamil Lipil with Iron (Mead Johnson Nutritionals/Briston-Myers Squibb). These are very low levels.