Wed, October 15, 2008
Lifestyle > Food & Drink

Dose of melamine matters

2008-10-15 02:50:13 GMT2008-10-15 10:50:13 (Beijing Time) China Daily

Should melamine be allowed in our milk? The issue was gradually clarified after debates heated up. All of a sudden, it became a worry again.

In a joint announcement in October, the Ministry of Public Health, Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, Ministry of Agriculture, State Administration for Industry and Commerce and General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine allowed a small dose of melamine in the milk and dairy products. For example, 1mg/kg is OK for powdered milk for infants and maximum of 2.5mg/kg acceptable for milk (including the one as material), other powdered milk and dairy products.

The public health officials and experts justified that zero tolerance of melamine is impossible because food has to be packed. A small portion of melamine comes along with the packing stuff.

So melamine has gained new access to our milk and dairy products. I say "new" because most of the consumers assume that "melamine free" is the important benchmark for qualified safe milk and dairy products. The spot tests the government took shortly after the milk scandal was exposed verified that this logic makes sense. The published test results showed us the products with "no melamine" tags and those with that chemical on the blacklist.

Didn't they mean that some companies can produce milk without melamine? Then why are 1mg and 2.5mg of melamine acceptable for our milk and dairy products?

Melamine-contaminated milk has driven the country into a panic. We cannot afford to study how much dose of it is harmful.

Consumers have a right to say NO to it altogether.

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