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Consumer Group Opposed to FDA Decision to Permit the Sale of Melamine Laced Formula in the United States

By Stephanie Brown and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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A nonprofit consumer group, Consumers Union, is opposed to a decision by the Food and Drug Administration to permit infant formulas manufactured in the United States to be sold when the formula is contaminated with melamine or its byproducts. The FDA detected melamine and its byproduct cyanuric acid separately in four out of 89 containers of infant formula tested in the fall of 2008, including Nestle Good Start Supreme Infant Formula with Iron and Mead Johnson’s Enfamil LIPIL with Iron. The FDA, however, authorized sale of the formulas because melamine and cyanuric acid were not found together in the formulas. According to the FDA, dangerous effects can occur only when both melamine and cyanuric acid are present.

Consumers Union has pointed out, however, that this ruling by the FDA assumes that parents will never feed their babies more than one type of formula. While physicians generally recommend feeding babies only one type of formula, the possibility of parents switching brands because of receiving coupons, samples, gifts, or while traveling exists.

Melamine laced formula has been blamed for six infant deaths in China and for making nearly 300,000 babies sick in China. Representative Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut has called for a zero-tolerance policy for melamine in domestic infant formulas. For more on this story, FDA Guidelines Assume that Parents Will Feed Infants Only One Type of Formula.