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Eeks! We Are Adding Cyanuric Acid AND Melamine to Our Food Supply in the United States!

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McCamy Taylor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-30-08 04:31 PM
Original message
Eeks! We Are Adding Cyanuric Acid AND Melamine to Our Food Supply in the United States!
I. Nitrogen Plus Glycerine Equals

This is a follow up from my last journal about melamine/cyanuric acid. Recall that melamine and cyanuric acid are two related chemicals (the second comes from the first in a simple reaction) which are not terribly toxic by themselves. However, they combine in the human (or animal ) body to form water insoluble crystals which clog the kidneys, causing kidney stones, renal failure, bladder cancer and even death. If low grade industrial melamine waste (which is contaminated with cyanuric acid and other breakdown products) is added to food as was done in China to increase its apparent protein content (all of these chemicals are high in nitrogen), foods contain a lethal cocktail of poisons. However, even if high grade, pure product is added to the food supply, we are in trouble if we eat a little melamine here and then get a little cyanuric acid there and the two meet inside our bloodstream.

Well, guess what? In the United States, we are adding cyanuric acid to our beef products and we are adding melamine to our vegetable and feed products.

See the above to read about products such as Roughage Buster Plus from Archer Daniels Midland, a protein supplement for cows that contains cyanuric acid. Why? Maybe because the FDA told them they would have to stop feeding livestock dead animal parts for protein (think mad cow disease.) Turns out that cows can get some protein from plastic, because of all those stomachs. And plastic is cheap. Anyway, cyanuric acid is introduced to our food supply deliberately everyday in the United States in the form of protein supplements fed to cows . However, not all of the plastic is digested to protein. Cyanuric acid can be expected to contaminate the cows blood (and therefore meat), kidneys (where it will concentrate) and urine which will spread the chemical to water, ground and manure which may be used as fertilizer. Cyanuric acid has the potential to contaminate beef and milk in this way, and it could also get into other foods if it is handled carelessly.

While cows are eating their plastic in the form of cyanuric acid, our crops are getting dosed with melamine.

On a more concrete note, melamine not only has widespread industrial applications, but is also used to buttress the foundation of American agriculture.

Fertilizer companies commonly add melamine to their products because it helps control the rate at which nitrogen seeps into soil, thereby allowing the farmer to get more nutrient bang for the fertilizer buck. But the government doesnt regulate how much melamine is applied to the soil. This melamine accumulates as salt crystals in the ground, tainting the soil through which American food sucks up American nutrients.

Time released protein for plants. They are lucky. They dont have kidneys. But you do. With melamine in the ground, harvested crops and processed foods may be contaminated. And grazing animals may consume melamine, on top of the cyanuric acid that they are being fed.

As the author of this piece points out, even if you deliberately seek out organic foods that have been grown without the use of melamine fertilizers, the manure used to fertilize the crops may have come from animals that consumed melamine. Or cyanuric acid pellets. Or both. Maybe we need Organic Plus, farms that use only organic manure.

II. More Realistic Safety Testing, Please

The way things work now, chemical safety testing assumes that we will only be exposed to one toxin at a time . So, the FDA determined that melamine was safe years ago, because melamine by itself seemed to have no effects on animals. Then, people in China started putting melamine scrap which contains all sorts of chemicals including cyanuric acid into pet food and formula. That is what the people who were testing for toxicity should have done in the first place. Industrial waste seldom comes in a pure form.

Here is an article from 1999 that shows what can happen if you test chemicals individually and then test them altogether. A commonly used fertilizer, pesticide and herbicide were tested in rats in the concentrations in which they are found in groundwater.

"The single most important finding of the study is that common mixtures, not the standard one-chemical-at-a-time experiments, can show biological effects at current concentrations in groundwater," said Warren P. Porter, the lead author of the study and a UW-Madison professor of zoology and environmental toxicology. Although used worldwide, "tests for these compounds in combination are very rare, although they frequently co-occur."

The experiments performed by Porter's group suggest that children and the developing fetus are most at risk from the pesticide-fertilizer mixtures. Their influence on developing neurological, endocrine and immune systems, said Porter, portend change in ability to learn and in patterns of aggression.

The privately funded Wisconsin study focused on three commonly used farm chemicals: aldicarb, an insecticide; atrazine, a herbicide; and nitrate, a chemical fertilizer. All three are in wide use worldwide and are the most ubiquitous contaminants of groundwater in the United States.
In the series of experiments, when mice were given drinking water laced with combinations of pesticides and nitrate, they exhibited altered immune, endocrine and nervous system functions. Those changes, according to Porter, occurred at concentrations currently found in groundwater.

Cross reactions are common. One compound can induce a chemical change in the body that makes it more sensitive to another compound. Doctors see this all the time with medications. For instance, a wide variety of foods and medications can affect Coumadin, a blood thinner. Some anti-depressants become poisons in the presence of certain other drugs or foods. If two or more chemicals are likely to be encountered together in nature, then a laboratory scenario in which they are tested separately is next to useless. So, for instance, if formula manufacturers are buying milk products on an open market in which some cows are being fed cyanuric acid pellets and others are eating melamine contaminated feed, there is a high likelihood that infants consuming formula will be exposed to both chemicals, particularly if they switch brands regularly.

This is why we need to reconsider the practice of adding melamine (fertilizer) and cyanuric acid (cattle protein supplement) to our food supply.

III. Consumer Backlash?

On a lighter note, here is the September, 2008 Melamine Industry Update from DSM, the worlds largest producer of the stuff.

They can not figure out why demand for their product (and its price) is not rising when the demand for and price of urea (a necessary precursor and rival fertilizer) is sky high. Only China continues to buy melamine in large amounts since it is a preferred fertilizer (and possibility feed supplement and food adulterant) in that country.

And a couple of FYI's for people who are interested in what goes in their food. KBR (Halliburton) is apparently a big player in the urea/fertilizer business nowadays with a bunch of plants scattered around the world thanks to its propriety process for making urea out of ammonia. And Syngas---artificial fuel made out of waste, often biomass---and nitrogen fertilizers are now conjoined twin industries.

So, as we see more Syngas, we should see more pressure to use nitrogen fertilizers. Keep that in mind when you see the FDA do stupid stuff like this in regard to the recent revelations that it had concealed the fact that several different brands of formula were adulterated with plastics, one with cyanuric acid, another with melamine (thanks to the AP for filing the Freedom of Information request that uncovered the truth):

Leon said that the amounts discovered are safe and that parents should continue to feed formula to their children. "We know that trace levels do not pose a risk whatsoever," she said.

That contradicts the agency's recent statements about melamine, including a position paper that was on its Web site yesterday that asserted there are no safe levels of melamine for infants. "FDA is currently unable to establish any level of melamine and melamine-related compounds in infant formula that does not raise public health concerns," the document said.

Agency scientists have maintained they could not set a safe level of melamine exposure for babies because they do not understand the effects of long-term exposure on a baby's developing kidneys. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that infant formula is a baby's sole source of food for many months. Premature infants absorb an especially large dose of the chemical, compared with full-term babies.

"Just one month ago, the FDA had been very clear about how they could not set a safe level of melamine in formula for babies," said Sonya Lunder, a senior analyst at the Environmental Working Group, an advocacy organization. "Now they're saying trace levels are no problem. What changed?"
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KT2000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-30-08 04:37 PM
Response to Original message
1. Bush stopped testing
of chemical combinations that was planned from the Clinton administration.

The chemicals we come into contact with daily have only been tested for safety on the basis that we experience them once in a lifetime - and no other chemicals.

I think we call it the healthcare crisis and the loss of our loved ones.
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Metta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-30-08 04:50 PM
Response to Original message
2. The Bush thugs take on the suffering of those who who are harmed by their malice.
Happy karma, gang.
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More_liberal_than_mo Donating Member (192 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-30-08 04:55 PM
Response to Original message
3. This is downright getting scary!
As I discussed in an earlier tread today
The FDA has now broken one of it own rules. The FDA established a zero tolerance level for adulterations in our food supply in 1938!
Neither melamine nor cyanuric acid appear naturally in our food supply, both are made from plastics that make our food appear to contain more protein than they actually do. In small quantities neither is toxic to humans by itself, but when combined together in food the result is extremely toxic. This is why thousands of pets were killed last year. The pet food was made from Chinese melamine adulterated food combined with USA cyanuric acid adulterated food. Later milk used in formula was found to sicken Chinese babies. Some milk from farms contaminated with melamine fed cows was mixed with some other farm's milk contaminated with cyanuric acid in their cows feed.
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valerief Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-30-08 05:16 PM
Response to Original message
4. K&R

This is frightening stuff.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-30-08 06:05 PM
Response to Original message
5. FDA is killing us all with help of drug co's putting out poisons ---
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Shallah Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-30-08 07:42 PM
Response to Original message
6. Melamine in several samples of medical formula supplements for the elderly'

Last month, the FDA set the safety threshold for melamine at 2,500 parts per billion for foods other than infant formula. The agency said it did not have enough data to set a safety threshold for infants.

A spokeswoman for the Atlanta, Georgia-based International Formula Council, a trade group, said she had not seen the data, but was encouraged that the quantity found was below levels deemed safe in infants by the governments of China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Canada and New Zealand.

"Apparently these trace levels can be found in lots of food," said spokeswoman Mardi Mountford.

The FDA also found trace levels of melamine in several samples of medical formula supplements for the elderly, but the amounts posed no health risk to adults, Leon said.

AT least one consumer group has contacted the FDA asking them for their proof that the new safety standard for melamine in baby food is safe but they have yet to reply. So I guess we are supposed to trust the FDA that they just didn't pull this out of their sorry asses and it's science based after all the crap they have pulled over the years including NOT telling people which brands of baby formulas are contaminated until the AP did a FOIA request - and still haven't stated which senior medical supplements are contaminated!

Oh and ms mountford of the International Formula Council - Tawiwan has a standard 20 TIMES more stringent than the FDA's -

International Formula Council:

Members are: Abbott Nutrition; Mead Johnson Nutritionals; Nestle Nutrition - USA; and Wyeth Nutrition.

Abbott Nutrition

Mead Johnson Nutritionals

Nestle Nutrition

Wyeth Nutrition
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formercia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-30-08 07:45 PM
Response to Original message
7. Not to worry
Big Pharma is developing a very expensive antidote. Enjoy your co-pay.
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laundry_queen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-01-08 12:19 AM
Response to Reply #7
10. Yep.
A cure is right around the corner. If you are lucky enough to be able to afford it.
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roody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-30-08 08:22 PM
Response to Original message
8. Organic food costs more, but it is worth it.
Edited on Sun Nov-30-08 08:24 PM by roody
Unprocessed food costs less than processed food, and is healthier.
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Shallah Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-01-08 12:10 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. Unforunatly even organics may not be safe. A French farm imported Chinese soymeal laced w/melamine
Thankfully they were checking -

Co-operative imported melamine-tainted soymeal

A French farm co-operative says that it imported 270 tonnes of melamine-contaminated soymeal from China.


Christophe Courrouce, spokesman for the Terrena co-operative, says tests conducted on the soymeal imported in October found levels of melamine up to 30 times the maximum level authorized by sanitary authorities.

He says the soymeal was used to produce feed for organic poultry, but that tests on animals revealed no contamination.

Terrena has withdrawn 800 tonnes of soymeal that came into contact with the contaminated pellets and suspended all soy imports from China.

& unfortunatly processed food is cheaper than unprocessed or else brown rice would cost less than white and a box of chemically flavored corn syrup & transfat laden cereal would cost more than 100% whole grain unrefined sweetened cereal. Frozen veggies are cheaper most of the time than fresh but at least with them they are mostly free of additives though more and more stores stock steam pouched veggies many with flavorings than plain :/
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Tumbulu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-01-08 01:11 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. There is always biodynamic
This is way more than organic. You are not to import much of anything onto the farm. You make your own compost from your own animals that live on your farm eating food raised by you on this same farm.

But, that said, organic is so much better than conventional anything. If you ever farmed you would see right ways the amazing difference between the two and then you would avoid all conventional food like the plague. Remember that toxic waste is added to most of the chemical fertilizers so that they can just spread the toxins out all over the place. And sewage sludge as well. And what is fed to these poor farm animals is criminal.

Organic is so much better. But Biodynamic is the most pure as far as the inputs are concerned.

It costs way more to farm properly and safely and humanely.
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Quantess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-01-08 03:13 AM
Response to Original message
12. Looks like a horrific read.
I will read it tomorrow so I don't get nighmares tonight.
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