Be sure you read what our own FDA says about the addition of Melamine a KNOWN TOXIN (much like flouride!) is 'safe' to use in milk products! Incidently it makes me suspiciouse of our own milk and dairy supplies in part because as recently as this year this SAME chemical melamine has been found in cat and dog foods both manufactured HERE and over seas and its KILLING PETS!


BEIJING (AP) — China has adopted its first rules governing allowable levels of an industrial chemical at the center of the tainted milk scandal, as it tries to assuage a growing number of countries that are banning its imports.

The government has been struggling to deal with festering health and public relations issues since the crisis erupted last month. China's food exports have increasingly suffered, with more nations issuing import bans.

The melamine contamination has been blamed in the deaths of four babies and for sickening more than 54,000 children.

Dairy suppliers have been accused of adding melamine to watered-down milk to make the product appear rich in protein and fool quality control tests. There had been no previous standards.

Under guidelines adopted Wednesday, melamine limits considered safe are set at one part per million for infant formula and 2.5 parts per million for liquid milk, milk powder and food products that contain more than 15 percent milk.

Melamine, used in products including plastics, paint and adhesives, can lead to kidney stones and possibly life-threatening kidney failure.

Wang Xuening, a Health Ministry official, said any items containing higher levels will be "prohibited from sale."

Wang acknowledged that small amounts of melamine can leech from the environment and packaging into milk and other foods, but said that deliberate tainting is explicitly forbidden.

"Melamine cannot be used as an ingredient or additive in food products," Wang said. "For those who add melamine into food products, their legal responsibility will be investigated."

Chen Junshi, a researcher for China's Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said the new guidelines will help officials assess whether melamine had been intentionally added or existed in the environment.

"If the amount exceeds one (part per million), we have reasons to believe it was intentionally added," Chen said. "If the amount is below one, it's very likely that it is because it existed in the environment."

Levels of melamine discovered in batches of milk powder recently registered as much as 6,196 parts per million.

Guidelines in Hong Kong and New Zealand say melamine in food products is considered safe at 2.5 parts per million or less, though Hong Kong has lowered the level for children under 3 and pregnant or lactating women to one part per million.

In the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration says its experts have concluded that eating 2.5 parts per million of melamine — a minuscule amount — would not raise health risks, even if a person ate food every day that was laced with it.

Deng Haihua, a representative of the Health Ministry's information office, said the number of children treated in hospitals since October has been "greatly reduced" but he said he was not authorized to give any other updates.

China's Cabinet has acknowledged that the country's dairy industry was "chaotic" and suffered from a grave lack of oversight. It has pledged to monitor milk products from dairies to store shelves.

Even before the uproar over contaminated milk, China's manufacturing industry had been under intense scrutiny after melamine and other industrial toxins were found last year in exports ranging from toothpaste to a pet food ingredient.

The current crisis has prompted the government to fire local and even high-level officials for negligence, while repeating earlier promises to raise product safety standards.

Meanwhile, the official Xinhua News Agency said police in the northern Chinese province of Hebei, where the dairy giant Sanlu Group is based, have arrested 14 more people in the scandal. A total of 27 people have been arrested in Hebei, it said.