Initial reports of the extent of the number of infant illnesses were incorrect. The number of infants now sick from contaminated milk powder has tripled. And the number may go even higher:
“Chinese hospitals are fighting to save the lives of some of the 1,253 babies who were sickened after being fed milk powder contaminated with an industrial chemical used to make cups and saucers.
Two infants have already died from drinking the formula laced with melamine in a ploy by farmers to boost the protein content of the milk they sold to one of the country’s biggest and best-known milk powder manufacturers…”
Even with warnings of the contamination, the Chinese recall has been far from efficient. Blunders seem to be occurring at numerous points along the manufacturing and distribution system. It seems that profit trumps product safety; and infants die.
The American consumer has cause to be concerned. Presently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not have the staffing nor the funds to adequately fulfill its mandate of consumer protection. The pet food disaster showed how easily contaminated Chinese products can entered the North American food distribution system. If Chinese product security is so inadequate domestically, it should be presage safety concerns internationally.