09 October 2008

Melamine scare

The first time I heard of the melamine scandal involving milk from China, I turned a quizzical eye to my wife and asked, "isn't it melamine is used for plastic tableware? What's it doing in milk?" The tableware came to mind immediately because we have some melaware (a tag used for such products) back in Baguio. Learning that some milk products were tainted with melamine and have made babies ill was disconcerting. An even higher cause for concern is that Sanlu - which manufactured the powdered milk products - is partly owned by a New Zea;and company. It is alarming because New Zealand has strict policies about having the natural ecosystem here disrupted by rogue organisms such as stray seeds, insects in wooden products, or animals and animal products. But, although this melamine scare happened outside New Zealand shores, its partnership with Sanlu certainly hit the country in general as well. And many here are concerned about the effects of such news.

Melamine was being added to the milk to artificially boost the product's protein level. In my research, I learned that Melamine in a small dose is relatively harmless. But ingested for extended periods of time can render it toxic, and the babies have been fed on this for 3 - 6 months.

More importantly, the innocents who are affected by this are unimaginable.

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