By Genevieve Long
Widespread problems with milk and milk-related food products from China contaminated with melamine have prompted state governments to search local stores for contaminated products. Since mid-September, six U.S. states have found and removed melamine-contaminated products from store shelves.
The impetus was the fact that more than 53,000 babies in China were hospitalized in September after ingesting milk containing a melamine additive.
Melamine is an industrial polymer typically used in floor tiling, kitchenware, filters, and fire retardants. Melamine’s high nitrogen content imitates protein when tested in food products that have been diluted to increase volume and profit, such as watered-down milk.