Rep. DeLauro says FDA action ‘an insult,’ no level of melamine is acceptable
October 6, 2008
On Friday, the FDA said that levels of melamine below 2.5 parts per million (ppm) in food does not pose a health risk to humans. The only exception is infant formula in which no safe level has been set.
This action brought a strong rebuke from Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Chairwoman of the Agriculture– Food and Drug Administration subcommittee.
“While other countries throughout the world, including the European Union, are acting to ban melamine-contaminated products from China, the FDA has chosen to establish an acceptable level for melamine in food in an attempt to convince consumers that it is not harmful,” she said. “Not only is this is an insult to consumers, but it would appear that the FDA is condoning the intentional contamination of foods.”
By not insisting on a zero-tolerance policy with melamine, DeLauro said the FDA is failing to protect consumers, and is undercutting state officials in their efforts to keep melamine-tainted products out of stores.
“Once again, the FDA is failing to act to increase inspections and remove contaminated products from store shelves,” DeLauro said. And once again, the FDA is demonstrating that the Congress has significant work ahead if it is to pass legislation that reforms the food safety system and changes the culture at an agency that is failing to protect the public from potential health risks.”
While Chinese-made infant formula has not been cleared for import into the U.S., other products made from tainted milk have shown up on U.S. store shelves. Chinese candy found last week in California reportedly had melamine levels at more than 500 parts per million.