Thursday, 2 October 2008

No - You will not become "Melamine Man" eating Cheese!.

There's plenty of panic around, with regard to the "Melamine Scandals".
This post is not meant to be a wet blanket on the "enthusiasm" of some in whacking/ condemning messengers - be they from the government or otherwise.

This mainly "copy & post" entry, refers to a post on Terang Bulan Negaraku blog:-
Resign! Liow Tiong Lai - Malaysiakini , MKINI IN BLOGS | MKINI IN NEWS | WE BLOG! When he "snorts" that, "According to the US, EU and WHO, the permissible level of melamine is zero, not zero detection."
"Adding dioxin to foodstuffs is illegal and the same is viewed upon melamine"
"Liow Tiong Lai lied through his teeth when he claimed that the European Union countries allow 30 parts per million (ppm) of melamin in all food products. According to the US, EU and WHO, the permissible level of melamine is zero, not zero detection"
......... he is, at his snorting best - Inaccurate!

Not that I fancy this guy, but this lackey - Tiong Lai - was right in his Blog/ MSM statement:
Press Statements
-More labs to be set up for testing melamine

"He also asked the public not to panic if they found small portions of melamine in their food, as long as they were within the permissible level.
“European Union countries allow 30 parts per million (ppm) of melamine in all food products."

Here are some extracts from the relevant links:-
Statement of EFSA on risks for public health due to the presences of melamine in infant milk and other milk products in China:

“In general terms, melamine is found throughout the food chain across the world in minute traces which do not represent any health risk for consumers,” the company stated. “There is a generally accepted tolerable daily intake of melamine in food in the EU (0.5mg/kg of body weight/day) and in the US (0.63mg/kg of body weight/day).”

The primary target organ for melamine toxicity is the kidney. There is uncertainty
with respect to the time scale for the development of kidney damage. Thus, EFSA
applied a tolerable daily intake (TDI) of 0.5 mg/kg body weight (b.w.) in considering possible health effects which might occur with repeated consumption of melamine contaminated products over a relatively short period.
EFSA used the highest value of melamine
(approximately 2,500 mg/kg) reported in Chinese infant formula as a basis for worst case scenarios.

Based on these scenarios, estimated exposure does not raise concerns for the health of adults in Europe should they consume chocolates and biscuits containing contaminated milk powder. Children with a mean consumption of biscuits, milk toffee and chocolate made with such milk powder would also not exceed the TDI.

Below are some extracts from the WHO paper on
Melamine and Cyanuric acid:
Toxicity, Preliminary Risk Assessment and Guidance on Levels in Food
25 September 2008

Most people don't know that melamine can be found almost anywhere in the food chain.
Melamine is water soluble and is excreted thru the kidneys (Melamine is not metabolized and is rapidly eliminated in the urine with a half life in plasma of around 3 hours (OECD 1998). The compound has a low acute toxicity, with an oral LD50 in the rat of 3161 mg/kg body weight (OECD 1998).)

Uses and possible human exposure

Outside the current food safety incident consumer exposure to melamine is considered to be low. Besides low levels of residues as consequence of cyromazine metabolism it may occur through the extraction of melamine from compression moulds by acidic foods, such as lemon or orange juice or curdled milk, at high temperature. Taking into account these sources the estimated oral uptake of melamine is around 0.007 mg melamine/kg body weight/day (OECD 1998).

Cyanuric acid (CAS No 108-80-5) is a structural analogue of melamine.
It may be found as an impurity of melamine. Cyanuric acid is an FDA-accepted component of feed-grade biuret, a ruminant feed additive. It is also found in swimming pool water as the dissociation product of dichloroisocyanurates used for water disinfection. Consumer exposure may be through swallowing swimming pool water, through drinking water processed from surface water, and through fish which may accumulate this chemical (OECD 1999). When used in drinking water for disinfection purposes, sodium dichloroisocyanurate is rapidly dechlorinated to cyanurate.
Due to the widespread use of melamine, also in material in contact with food, low levels may be detected in food, not necessarily due to adulteration. Some countries have established legal limits in relation to migration of melamine from food contact material into foods.

However, No human data could be found on the oral toxicity of melamine. Data are available from animal feeding studies carried out in rats, mice and dogs. The main toxic effects of dietary exposure to melamine in rats and mice were calculi formation, inflammatory reactions and hyperplasia in the urinary bladder (OECD 1998, Melnick et al 1984; Bingham et al 2001; IARC 1986 ).
Melamine crystalluria has been reported in dogs (Bingham et al 2001).

So Freddie Toh, go chew on some Melamine ......

It is with great anxiety/ trepidation, that I await for the presumably cleverly crafted interview with our "defacto" "Law Minister" the "wayar putuih" man - the one and only Nazri!
Yes - I just saw in NST Online that it will be published tomorrow!!

Oh God of Abraham - have mercy on me ......