By now, you've no doubt heard the news that four infants have died in China, and at least 50,000 have become ill, after they were fed formula or milk powder that had been illegally contaminated with melamine (an industrial chemical used to make plastics and fertilizer). The chemical is believed to have been added to milk products from 22 Chinese dairy companies in an effort to conceal the fact that the milk had been watered down to cut costs.
While the FDA says that milk-based products imported into the United States from China have not been found to be contaminated with melamine, the E.U. and countries in Africa and Asia are taking precautions by banning imports of baby food containing Chinese milk. Here's a list of those countries and the products being banned.
In response to the growing health scare, The World Health Organization and UNICEF, the U.N. Children's Fund, issued a joint statement this week expressing their concerns and calling for more awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding.
If this health crisis results in nothing else, it may at least give us one more reason to breastfeed. Here are 200 more. Of course, toxins can and do end up in breastmilk. Here's how to make your breastmilk safer, and here, we show you how to avoid environmental hazards and other toxins to make your breast milk as healthy as possible. For more on chemicals and toxins to avoid, don't miss our Going Green guide.
Dana Rousmaniere is FitPregnancy.com's Managing Editor.