Chinese Tainted Milk Scandal Reaches U.S. Shores
The Food and Drug Administration issued an alert on Friday, September 19th warning the public to avoid consumption of Mr. Brown instant coffee and milk tea products. The FDA believes there is a possibility that these products may have been contaminated with melamine because the Taiwanese producer uses creamer made in China at Shandong Duqing, Inc.
This recall includes: Mr. Brown Arabica Instant Coffee, Blue Mountain Blend Coffee, Caramel Macciato Instant Coffee, French Vanilla Instant Coffee, Mandheling Blend Instant Coffee, and Mr. Brown Milk Tea.
Although the FDA has recommended that consumers avoid these products and retailers removed them from their shelves, no melamine contamination has been found as of Friday, September 25th.
In addition to Mr. Brown products, both KFC and Starbucks have confirmed they use products produced by Megniu, one of the largest dairy suppliers in China, and a company where melanine was found. KFC dropped Nestle in 2007 for Megniu as its supplier.
Over 53,000 children have been sickened by melanine since this latest Chinese product crisis began. The CEO of New Zealand’s Fonterra, Andrew Ferrier, believes this is sabotage. Fonterra owns a 43 percent stake in China’s dairy producer Sanlu. Chinese authorities state they have detained 19 people and questioned another 78. Chinese state media reports that authorities have arrested two farmers for adding melamine to their milk in an effort to increase protein levels.
Melamine is an organic product that when mixed with resins can be developed into fire retardant. When it is combined with cyanuric acid, it forms melamine cyanurate. This can cause kidney stones, which can be fatal. In addition to kidney stones, chronic ingestion may lead to reproductive damage, and bladder problems. These can lead to bladder cancer.
Melamine is also at the heart of the tainted pet food found in 2007, which sickened and killed many animals in the U.S.