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According to a news source, a migrant worker from southern Guangdong province has sued Sanlu Group Co., alleging that the melamine in its baby formula caused his 11-month-old son’s kidney stones. The lawsuit, which has not yet been accepted by the Guangzhou Intermediate People’s Court, apparently seeks US$132,000 in damages. The plaintiff’s lawyer has reportedly indicated that he is planning to sue the Dairy Association in China for failing to properly supervise its member companies. More than 10,000 children have been hospitalized in China after drinking milk contaminated with melamine, which, in some batches of milk powder, has been found at levels of 6,196 parts per million. These levels far exceed the Health Ministry’s recently adopted permissible limit of one part per million for infant formula and 2.5 parts per million for liquid milk, milk powder and foods containing more than 15 percent milk. See Findlaw.com, October 10, 2008.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this week issued the results of “its interim safety and risk assessment of melamine and melamine-related compounds in food, including infant food.” Prompted by “reports of melamine contamination in milk-derived ingredients” manufactured in China, FDA reviewed its scientific literature on melamine toxicity, pointing to “gaps in our scientific knowledge” regarding the threshold at which the industrial chemical becomes dangerous in infants. “There is too much uncertainty to set a level in infant formula and rule out any public health concern,” according to an October 3, 2008, FDA press release, which noted that for other food products, “levels of melamine and melamine-related compounds below 2.5 parts per million do not raise concerns.” Meanwhile, U.S. officials have reportedly located more melamine-tainted candy from China in New Haven, Connecticut, where two specialty stores were selling the White Rabbit Creamy Candy brand implicated in the global dairy scandal.…

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