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Melamine And Food Safety - 2

Evidence of misuse of the chemical in China emerged in 2007, when more than 4,000 dogs and cats in the United States died from kidney failure as a result of ingesting melamine-tainted pet food. The substance was found in wheat gluten and in rice protein concentrate that had been imported from China and used in the United States to make the foods. Some 100 brands of pet foods were recalled as a result of the incident. The following year, melamine contamination of infant formula in China led to the hospitalization of more than 50,000 infants as a result of renal dysfunction. Studies of melamine toxicity in humans and pets revealed that, although low-level exposure to the chemical does not usually cause adverse health affects, in high concentrations it crystallizes in the urine, leading to kidney stones and other renal disorders. An investigation into the contamination of infant formula conducted within China in 2008 traced the production of tainted products to more than 20 dairy manufacturers. Chinese dairy product exports, including certain chocolate and milk products, were also found to contain melamine and were subsequently recalled in Australia, New ZealandHong Kong, Singapore, and Thailand.

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