This food contaminant recently made the headlines when the consumption of adulterated foodstuffs, including infant formulae, coincided with an epidemic of urinary tract stones in young children and the death of several babies. Although the contamination problem was largely restricted to Asia, several authorities around the world were prompted to assess melamine’s toxicity, including experts at the World Health Organization, who established a tolerable daily intake (TDI) for melamine of 0.2 mg/kg bw in 2008. Two scientists based in Taiwan have now carried out their own review of the relevant literature, and with “judicious selection of pertinent values” have derived a TDI of just 0.0081 mg/kg bw, which is considerably lower than values set by other authorities. To protect the general population, including young children, with a single melamine food safety standard, the Taiwanese scientists suggested that the standard should “be set at or below 0.3 ppm in human foods and dietary ingredients” (Hsieh D.P.H. et al., Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology 2009, 55, 13; http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.yrtph.2009.05.004). {183105}

The above item was taken from the November 2009 issue of Toxicology and Regulatory News which is sent automatically to members of bibra (click here for more details). 

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