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FAQ: Melamine in U.S. Baby Formula

Questions and Answers About Trace Amounts of Melamine in U.S. Infant Formula

Should I switch my child to a different brand of formula?

There's no guarantee that any brand of infant formula is entirely free of melamine.

"Each of the three big manufacturers -- Abbott, Nestle, and Mead Johnson -- found similar concentrations of either melamine or one of its relatives in their products," Casavant says. "These three companies apparently make almost all of the formula sold in the USA -- so if parents wanted to switch from Enfamil Lipil to something else, we couldn't really suggest another product that we know to be safer. Breast milk's always best, but I've not found whether anyone's tested breast milk for melamine yet."

What are the symptoms of melamine poisoning?

Wang says symptoms of melamine poisoning are related to kidney stones or bladder stones.

"Infants with these kinds of problems will have severe abdominal pain, blood in the urine, and/or difficulty urinating," Wang says. "If you are not seeing that, there is no need to think the child has suffered any ill effect from his or her formula."

According to the American Society of Pediatric Nephrology, signs and symptoms of melamine poisoning in infants include:

  • Unexplained crying in infants, especially when urinating
  • Vomiting
  • Unexplained fever due to urinary tract infection caused by urinary obstruction
  • Blood in the urine
  • Stones discharged while passing urine
  • Signs of kidney infection
  • High blood pressure
  • Flank pain
  • Kidney failure

 

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