Thursday, September 18, 2008

Unnecessary Tragedy for Formula Fed Babies

Even though I am a stay-at-home-mom, I don't like to be in the dark about what is happening in the world around me. So, every few days I try to skim the headlines of CNN.com or leaf through the pages of our Reason, Newsweek, or World magazine subscriptions. Often, a headline tells me just enough to know their is a major event going on and I try to read anything that looks extra important.

Since I am still nursing Charlotte at 13-months old, and proud of it, when I saw this headline -
Fourth baby dies from tainted formula - I had to click over. What I read made me so sad. Apparently, two brothers decided that their financial situation was more important than the health of the thousands or more babies that would drink the milk they processed.
Investigators said the brothers confessed to watering down the raw milk and mixing in tripolycyanamide, also known as melamine. They said they did it to recover losses suffered when the factory rejected earlier milk shipments, the paper reported.
I am so sad over this unnecessary pain and loss of life. Now, I know we can't protect our children from every ill in this world, and I know this isn't a "China" problem. Evil lurks in the hearts of men all over the world. But golly, if these Chinese moms had been able to practice extended nursing, at least some of this pain and death might have been avoided.

Health experts say ingesting melamine can lead to kidney stones, urinary tract ulcers, and eye and skin irritation. The chemical is commonly used in coatings and laminates, wood adhesives, fabric coatings, ceiling tiles and flame retardants.

AP Image: Parents show babies suffering from kidney stones at a hospital in Lanzhou, Gansu province.

One additional note to prevent anyone from getting scared... From WebMD:
Infant formulas made in China shouldn't be on store shelves, regardless of melamine. The FDA requires all infant formula makers to register with the FDA and to meet certain standards; no Chinese companies have met those requirements.

2 comments:

  1. It truly is an unnecessary tragedy. (It left me speechless: http://stevewebel.com/2008/why/trackback )

    Unfortunately, within the current Chinese culture, formula is a necessity, not a luxury. (Trust me, as thrifty as Chinese are, if they didn't HAVE to buy something, they wouldn't!)

    However, something the anti-China US media is apparently NOT reporting is that the company at the center of this tragedy is NOT a "Chinese" company - it's a New Zealand joint venture.

    There was similar anti-China anger drummed up by US media and politicians over the Mattel Toy / lead paint fiasco last year. It was a USA company that failed to do QC, yet all the venom was directed at China!

    Greed is everywhere and in every country - including our own USA. We should tread lightly when we start pointing fingers at China.

    IMHO

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  2. Don't get me wrong, the Chinese involved in this are guilty of a horrible crime - I'm just saying they are not lone players in this scandal!

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