To the relief of the American people, the FDA is not sitting still in the wake of the latest recall from China effecting infants. If you haven't heard about it yet, China recently had to put out a recall on infant formula due to melamine being added to the mix. This recall was mainly for the purposes of China and should not affect the American people or any other country, or so they told us.
But let's back track for a moment and say what melamine is and what it does. Melamine is used to make a certain type of plastic. When combined with formaldehyde and exposed to heat, melamine turns into a moldable plastic that is difficult to break, once it has cooled. This has made it of great use in kitchens as dishware.
However in powdered form, melamine can be very dangerous. It has in the past been used as filler in products such as livestock feed and pet food as a way to cut costs. And now, some have done the unthinkable by putting it in something intended for human consumption. The reason most believe this was done was due to the fact that melamine shows up as a protein in tests performed on food products, which in turn makes the formula appear more nutritious. It is not toxic, but has been know to cause kidney stones and renal failure. Add this to the fact that it is being given to infants that might not be fully developed yet, and it can be fatal.
As time has passed since the announcement of the recall, the number of infant deaths has risen, and it has come to the attention of the FDA that, even though they assured the U.S. people that there was no known risk, that maybe there is. And, thank goodness, they decided to take an approach of action instead of "let's wait and see". A warning has gone out that formula already purchased for sale in Asian markets around the country might be contaminated with melamine.
Also due to this knowledge, the FDA, along with state and local officials, has begun a country wide search for the tainted infant formula, in the Asian markets, that might have been brought over for resale.