Safe Family: Baby formula warning

By: CBS News
By: CBS News

In today's Safe Family report, a warning to all parents after traces of melamine, a toxic chemical, is found in baby formula.

Traces of the toxic chemical melamine have been found in samples of top selling infant formula in the United States, worrying many parents.

“We’re giving our babies this formula thinking that we're doing something good,” mother Lisa Perez says.

The FDA says it found tiny amounts of melamine in a sample from one manufacturer, but the Associated Press reports the chemical has been discovered in samples from two other formula makers.

But the FDA insists the products are safe, and says it would be more dangerous to stop feeding formula to babies who depend on it.

"There seems to be very little cause for concern at this point," Dr. Kenneth Gottesman, pediatrician, St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital, says.

Traces of melamine were reportedly discovered in formula made by Abbot Laboratories, Nestle, and Mead Johnson, which produce more than 90 percent of all the infant formula in the U.S.

The government started testing for melamine shortly after tainted infant formula in China was blamed for killing at least three babies and making another 50,000 sick. The chemical is used in the food packaging process and can damage the kidneys and bladder.

The FDA insists there's no real cause for alarm, since the amount of melamine found in the U.S. formula is a tiny fraction of what was found in China.

Still, in October, the FDA indicated there was no acceptable level of melamine exposure in infants.

“Our government should be protecting us and protecting our children,” mother Annabel Chiarelli says.

Experts say more testing is needed to determine if even a trace amount of melamine poses a risk to infants.


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