by Sally Applin
Well, I was sort of hoping to be wrong about rule-breaking as a trend, but melamine is back in the news.
As you may recall, a year or so ago, pets were dying because they ingested pet food made in China that contained melamine, an industrial compound that artificially boosts protein readings in food inspections and is toxic–causing poison crystals to form in the body that cannot be broken down by the kidneys. According to Wikipedia:
“Melamine is an organic base and a trimer of cyanamide. Melamine is combined with formaldehyde to produce melamine resin, a very durablethermosetting plastic, and melamine foam, a polymeric cleaning product. The end products include countertops, dry erase boards, fabrics, glues, housewares and flame retardants. Melamine is one of the major components in Pigment Yellow 150, a colorant in inks and plastics.
Melamine also enters the fabrication of melamine poly-sulfonate used as superplasticizer for making high-resistance concrete. Sulfonatedmelamine formaldehyde (SMF) is a polymer used as cement admixture to reduce the water content in concrete while increasing the fluidity and the workability of the mix during its handling and pouring. It results in concrete with a lower porosity and a higher mechanical strength exhibiting an improved resistance to aggressive environments and a longer life-time.
Melamine is sometimes illegally added to food products in order to increase the apparent protein content. Standard tests such as the Kjeldahland Dumas tests estimate protein levels by measuring the nitrogen content, so they can be misled by adding nitrogen-rich compounds such as melamine.”
Since we export melamine to China to manufacture plastics and other things used in households and China uses tons of concrete for its internal building growth there must be excess melamine available, which may creates a surplus and temptation for those intent on fraud.
What baffles me though, is why it happened again in milk and milk products for human consumption. First they tried it in pet food. The pet food was recalled because pets were dying–so they tried it again a year later in infant formula?!
The problem may be in dissemination of information. Did China let its people know what was going on and why? Or did they save face and invent some other reason for persecuting (or not) those who created the tainted pet food last year?
The problem may also be that of not feeling like one needs to abide by the rules. As China changes, perhaps its people are going through some sort of transition of asserting independence from the government. An act of rebellion, as it were, without understanding the consequences.
The most plausible reason, may have to do with melamine itself. In TINY doses, VERY TINY, in a LAB, in a controlled laboratory experiment on RATS NOT HUMANS) it appears that it can be metabolized IN TINY AMOUNTS IN RATS. NOT HUMANS. However, it has its limits because it does cause crystals to form on the kidneys and kidney failure. In other words: NEVER EVER EVER TRY THIS.
Could it be that in separate cases each one of these idiots tried a “little bit” and didn’t die so they thought it was safe?
Trend: eat and feed your family and pets food that you can source. In other words, “Beware the White Rabbit” candy.
©2008-2014 Sally A. Applin. All rights reserved.