Saturday, September 20, 2008
Melamine is an industrial chemical used in plastics,fertilisers and flame retardants and it is never to be used in food products. And if consumed it can cause kidney stones and would affect the kidneys' function.
The milk industry water down the milk in order to increase quantity at the cost of its quality.The quality of milk is checked via its protein content. If the protein level in the milk is low it would be presumed that the milk is watered. It is here the melamine comes to the help of milk companies. Melamine contains about 65 per cent Nitrogen .Most milk tests are based on its nitrogen content.If the nitrogen level is good it is presumed that its protein content is sufficient. The milk companies add melamine and the milk shows higher nitrogen level and the milk companies O K the milk. Similarly Urea, a chemical rich in Nitrogen, is also used to make milk rich in proteins.
This practice is freely used in China and it is difficult to presume that the authorities were unaware of it until now. Presently this scandal came to light when New Zealand prime minister enquired with its counterpart in China about unusual baby ailments due to consumption of milk. The New Zealand has about 43 percent stake in the China milk company, Sanlu Group. The authorities in china were then forced to call back the products.
The problem has not solved yet. The Chinese government is taking frantic follow ups The food adulteration is an heinous crime and it is doubly so if it affects children. Although adults also drink milk, the babies fall sick more as their tender metabolic system fails easily against the chemicals.
The problem of milk-adulteration is not in China alone. The Times of India reported that more than 60% milk supplied in India is adulterated. The tendency to adulterate milk is increasing proportionate to its increasing price.
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