The China milk scare...

All the news over the last week or two about all the kids in China getting sick from powdered milk is so sad. I just hope that would not happen here. I guess it did before the turn of the century (according to a story I heard on NPR on Friday) except it was not plastic being added to the milk, but rather, water, which was the impetus for many regulations to follow in the U.S.

I looked a little closer at some of the labels on Karina's snacks and foods. I noticed that her Baby Mum Mum rice crackers are made in China. So, I e-mailed the company asking them if there were safety standards in place to ensure that there is no melamine in these snacks. Here is the response:

"Thank you for the email regarding Baby Mum-Mum rice rusk. We understand your concerns about the milk powder problem in China. The reports state that the Chinese government has identified the source of the problem to be contaminated Chinese fresh milk which was used to make milk powder in China. Since Baby Mum-Mum rice rusk is made from New Zealand origin skim milk powder, it is not related to the problem in China.

I hope this is helpful.

Please feel free to contact me again should you need further clarification.


Donald Kha
Amyson Pty Ltd (Australia)"

I have followed up with a few questions and will let you know what I hear.

Rebekah Denn, food writer for the Seattle PI had this to say on the subject:

Avoid Chinese imported foods with milk, says prof

The melamine-in-milk scandal goes beyond baby formula -- and goes beyond China. Professor Marion Nestle, one of the most respected and most no-nonsense voices in the world of nutrition and food politics, notes that Chinese candies imported to New Zealand have been found to have traces of melamine. (Ranch 99 has pulled that candy from its shelves, says USA Today, though it was still on some shelves in Seattle Wednesday.) If a product comes from China and has milk as an ingredient, Nestle wrote, send it back.

Melamine is an issue she's been tracking. I was initially surprised when I heard Nestle was writing a book about pet food, (out this month), but the title's starting to sound remarkably prescient: "Pet Food Politics: The Chihuahua in the Coal Mine." It's about last year's melamine-in-pet-food scandal and how "what begins as a problem merely for cats and dogs soon becomes an issue of tremendous concern to everyone."

Posted by Rebekah Denn at September 25, 2008 10:12 a.m.