United Nations Limits Melamine in Formula After China Scandal

July 6, 2012

A U.N. commission has set a limit on the amount of melamine permitted in liquid infant formula following a 2008 scandal in China in which six babies died from drinking formula and dairy products containing the industrial chemical.

Two years ago, the U.N. food security body known as the Codex Alimentarius Commission set the maximum limit of melamine in powdered infant formula at 1 milligram per kilogram of formula. On Wednesday, the commission said it had adopted a limit for liquid formula at 0.15 milligrams/kilogram.

The recommendations, made by most government members of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, are not binding.

Melamine is used to make dishes and kitchenware, and trace amounts can sometimes get into food from packaging. In China, melamine was being added to watered-down milk to elevate protein levels.

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