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China Milk Crisis

Melanin, a chemical used to make plastics and laminates, has tested positive in infant formula and other milk products throughout China.

Contaminated formula has killed four infants, and sickened 6,244 more.

In order to add bulk to milk derived foods, certain Chinese producers have been known to use melanin. The chemical is able to make products appear more nutritious due to testing as a protein in nutritional assessments. Melanin is not toxic, but can cause renal failure, kidney stones and possible death.

Chinese pet food companies labeled melanin as wheat gluten and rice protein last year, resulting in thousand of pet deaths from renal failure before being recalled.

Infant formula from China has yet to turn up within the United States. U.S. authorities said Friday that they are taking extra precautions to keep out contaminated milk products.

Melanin tainted products were recalled Friday.

Washington Post “Another Crisis, But a New China?� by Ariana Eunjung Cha
Time “Melamin� by Kate Pickert