Thursday, August 12, 2010

High Hormone Levels in Chinese Baby Formula...Very Scary!

Looks Harmless...Right?
August 9th the Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported that baby formula manufactured by Synutra International in China contains high levels of hormones causing babies to “prematurely develop breasts.”  The China Daily reports that in babies who were fed the formula, “the levels of hormones in three girls, ranging in age from 15 months to four years, exceeded those of the average adult woman."  Despite these findings the formula is still being sold (at discount prices) and Synutra claims that the product is safe.  It also claims that "no man-made 'hormones' or any illegal substances were added during production."  If that is the did this happen?

The former chairman of the dairy association in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong, told the China Daily that the hormones could have entered the food chain when farmers reared the cattle.  "Since a regulation forbidding the use of hormones to cultivate livestock has yet to be drawn up in China, it would be lying to say nobody uses it."  

AFP recalls that, “Chinese dairy products were recalled worldwide in 2008 after it was revealed that melamine, a toxic chemical used to make plastics, was widely and illegally added to the products to give the appearance of higher protein.”  In the 2008 milk scandal, at least six children died and 300,000 were sickened from milk that contained dangerous levels of melamine. Synutra refers to this as the “the melamine incident.”

I can't believe that this kind of stuff happens...can you imagine what the long term effect of this is on all of those children?  The saddest part is that the product is still on the market and sold at discount prices.  This sets up a situation where the poorest people are purchasing and have the least resources to combat it's ill effects!  What a shame!  Oh, and the side effects have been reported in females, but the effects on baby boys is yet to be determined. 
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