Melamine Tainted Candy From China Found in Connecticut

The Associated Press is reporting that <"">melamine—the toxin at the center of the ongoing milk scandal in China—has been found in candy in American stores, more specifically, in Connecticut stores.

The AP said that Connecticut consumer protection Commissioner Jerry Farrell Jr. said that tests on White Rabbit Creamy Candy revealed that they contained melamine.  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended last week that consumers not eat White Rabbit candy and advised retailers to remove White Rabbit candy from shelves.  Queensway Foods Company Inc. of California distributed the candy and says it is now recalling it.

Melamine is used to make plastics, fertilizer, and fire retardants and is known to cause kidney stones and can lead to kidney failure.  Melamine-contaminated powdered milk has been blamed for the illnesses of some 54,000 children and the deaths of four infants in China.  Melamine possesses high nitrogen contents, which causes it to falsify protein levels in foods; the toxic chemical was added to watered down baby formula to create the impression of high protein levels in the diluted products.  Melamine is known to cause kidney problems when ingested, including kidney stones and kidney failure.

As a result of the ongoing and ever widening scandal, police in China have detained 22 people suspected of involvement in introducing melamine into the supply chain.  The 22 were held following raids on dozens of dairy farms and milk purchasing stations during which nearly 500 pounds of melamine were seized.  Police there reported that 19 of the detainees were managers at dairy pastures, breeding farms, and milk purchasing stations.  “According to the police investigation, melamine was produced in underground plants and then sold to breeding farms and purchasing stations,” the newspaper said.

A man surnamed Gao was suspected of producing a “protein powder” containing melamine and a man named Xue likely sold the melamine-tainted powder to the milk purchasing stations, the paper said.

Meanwhile, according to another recent AP report, “cookies from a major Japanese confectioner and Chinese-made baby cereal and crackers” are now included in the scandal.  Taiwan also reported three babies with kidney stones in the first cases likely linked to the scandal there.  The AP also reports that the Hong Kong government announced it found traces of melamine in baby cereal and crackers made in mainland China:  Heinz DHA+AA vegetable formula baby cereal and Silang House steamed potato wasabi crackers.  The Chinese government also found melamine levels at 24 times the safety limit in Koala’s March cookies and Pizza Hut suspended supplying melamine-contaminated cheese powder in Pizza Hut’s Taiwan branch.  Three Taiwanese children—two three-year-old girls and a one-year-old boy—who consumed Chinese milk formula, were diagnosed with kidney stones. The mother of one of the girls also has kidney stones, said Liu Yi-lien, health chief of Ilan County in eastern Taiwan.  “They have all consumed Chinese milk,” Liu said.  Five other children have become ill as a result of using melamine-tainted products in the Chinese territories of Hong Kong and Macau.

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