Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Baby

Font Size
A
A
A

FAQ: Melamine in U.S. Baby Formula

Questions and Answers About Trace Amounts of Melamine in U.S. Infant Formula
By
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Nov. 26, 2008 -- Tiny "trace" amounts of potentially toxic melamine reportedly detected in U.S.-made infant formula pose little if any risk to kids, experts tell WebMD.

Just before Thanksgiving, the Associated Press reported that the FDA had been testing U.S.-made baby formula for melamine.

On the Friday after Thanksgiving, the FDA admitted that one brand of formula contained very small amounts of melamine. Another brand contained similarly tiny amounts of cyanuric acid, a related chemical. And a third maker of infant formula told the AP that its own tests detected small amounts of melamine in its product.

As recently as last October, the FDA said it did not know of any safe level of melamine in baby formula. Last Friday, the agency said that melamine and cyanuric acid are safe in baby formula at levels up to 1 part per million.

All of the baby formula that tested positive for melamine or cyanuric acid had levels of the toxins well below 1 part per million.

In China, melamine was deliberately added to infant formula to make it appear to have a higher protein content. This resulted in melamine levels vastly higher than those found in U.S. formula. More than 52,000 children developed kidney stones. There were more than 13,000 hospitalizations and at least two deaths.

The FDA has not found any Chinese infant formula in the U.S., and has warned all manufacturers not to use milk products imported from China unless they have been tested for melamine contamination.

American-made infant formula is not made with milk products from China. The trace amounts of melamine detected in U.S. infant formula apparently came from routine contact with melamine-containing substances during the manufacturing process. There is no reason to suspect the melamine was added deliberately.

Should parents worry? WebMD consulted with experts who answered your questions.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Baby's First Year Newsletter

Because every week matters, get expert advice and facts on what to expect in your baby's first year.

Today on WebMD

mother on phone holding baby
When you should call 911.
parents and baby
Unexpected ways your life will change.
 
baby acne
What’s normal – and what’s not.
baby asleep on moms shoulder
Help your baby get the sleep he needs.
 

mother holding baby at night
ARTICLE
mother with sick child
QUIZ
 
Chinese mother breast feeding newborn baby girl
SLIDESHOW
Track Your Babys Vaccines
TOOL
 
Baby Napping 10 Dos And Donts
Slideshow
Woman holding feet up to camera
Article
 
Father kissing newborn baby
Article
baby gear slideshow
Slideshow