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Melamine in Chinese Baby Formula

Melamine in Chinese Baby Formula

Q: There is a lot in the news about the melamine found in Chinese baby formula/milk. It doesn’t look like anyone in the United States has been affected yet–but there may be some risk in larger cities with large Chinese populations. Is there any other possible risk to American consumers?

A: There have been so many food concerns over the past two years that really highlight the issues of globalization and inadequate regulatory budgets.

The FDA is warning parents and caregivers not to feed infant formula made in China to infants because of possible contamination with melamine, a chemical linked to tainted animal feed last year.

Melamine artificially makes milk appear to have more protein; it can cause kidney diseases such as those seen in the Chinese infants. Do what is safest for your infant. Only buy formulas from manufacturers that have met the FDA’s requirements for marketing infant formulas. These are: Abbott Nutritionals, Mead Johnson Nutritionals, Nestle USA, PBM Nutritionals. Look for these names on the formula’s label.

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Dr. Brent Ridge is the health expert for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. You can call and ask him a question live every Tuesday at 2 p.m. Eastern on Sirius Satellite Radio, Channel 112 (1.866.675.6675). You can also follow along as he learns to grow his own food and raise goats on his farm in upstate New York by visiting

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Dr. Brent

As an undergraduate, Dr. Brent Ridge majored in public health and environmental science, studying the way the state of the natural environment impacts our health choices. As a physician, he specializes in the field of aging. Send your health questions to Dr. Brent at


+ add your own
7:30AM PDT on Aug 23, 2010

it's nice to see such responsible and non attacking responses to an article!

8:01PM PDT on Aug 14, 2010

Is nice to breastfeed but some mothers can't,so I hope no one makes them feel bad. If you give a bottle you also have to be careful of the bottle and were it was made.Most were made in China,some had lead in the little designs on them.Just be careful,try to buy glass,its better in the long run.What happened to making the old stuff our grandmoms,and moms made,out of can milk.

12:50AM PDT on Aug 14, 2010

When I see all the comments I felt I need to add a few more shades to the topic, it is not black and white.

This story is not old, a few new incidents has been reported locally in China so it is good to keep the attention to this case.

The UNICEF advices 6 months of breast feeding. Read more here:

In addition I would like to add:
- Breast feeding is not the only way to care for a baby and will not solve all problems.
- All mothers can not breastfeed, some only partly but all breat milk a baby can get is great. A happy mother is also important to care for the baby.
- In China mothers are normally home from work for 3 months.
- Also care for which feeding bottle you select;

9:25PM PDT on Aug 13, 2010

The melamine issue is over a year old now. Many, many Chinese babies were affected.

5:45PM PDT on Aug 13, 2010

Breastfeeding is the best where bond between mother and baby, immunity to baby, and reduce uterus after birth when baby suck breast and nipple. Artificial formula (Nestle, Abbott Nutritionals, Mead Johnson Nutritionals, Nestle USA, PBM) made in anywhere is not good for baby health.

3:32AM PDT on Jun 15, 2009


11:31AM PDT on Oct 8, 2008

I agree with Jas Rees. As a general response to the article, don't be so sure we aren't affected. See 5th paragraph of:

In a teleconference with reporters on 1 May, officials from the FDA and U.S. Department of Agriculture said that between 2.5 and 3 million people in the United States had consumed chickens that had consumed feed containing contaminated vegetable protein from China.[13]

7:11AM PDT on Oct 1, 2008

If you are able to breast feed than forget about formula. Why choose anything artificial over nature anyway?

No crash dieting when breast feeding though as when you lose fat somehow the toxins cross over into breast milk Dr. Brent maybe able to explain better.

If you breastfeed you will be able to eat more calories or you will lose weight naturally anyway - I have experienced this when I was breastfeeding.

Don't ingest artificial sweeteners i.e. aspartime whilst breast feeding though, as terrible for bub.

12:12PM PDT on Sep 23, 2008

Breastfeed! No colic, no prep time, no temperature problems, no sanitation worries.
Good teeth and jaw development, great bonding and security.
Easy. My mother did, against fashion in the 40's, and after watching her nurse the 7 of us, it was completely natural for me.

3:37PM PDT on Sep 22, 2008

Breast is best!

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