Are our standards too low?
Dangerous baby milk has been recalled, but shouldn’t we be aiming higher? asks Adele Hamilton
(Shawn Benjamin)
 The Kwazulu-Natal department of health this week recalled two batches of baby formula contaminated with a substance called melamine, according to this story on News24.

The story quotes the Department’s spokesperson Leon Mbangwa as saying: "This is more than the internationally accepted level of 1mg/kg for foodstuffs intended for infants and young children, such as infant formula, applied by the department of health as a cut-off level."

Those are my italics. It disturbs me that foods intended for babies have any acceptable level of a substance that is known to be potentially harmful, causing kidney problems. Are we that desperate for convenience that we will accept a little of this poison and a little of that one in our children’s food?

The discovery of melamine in local formula follows the huge scandal in China about contaminated food.

This feels like a new low, especially alongside other recent reports of some plastic baby bottles containing another potentially harmful chemical, bisphenol A, which leaches out of the plastic especially when heated, as baby bottles so often are.

We need to take a serious look at the standards that are set for baby products, and each make an individual effort to make healthier, more environmentally-friendly choices whenever we can. And government needs to look at all baby goods, whether locally produced or imported, with a very critical eye. Because just a little dangerous chemical in a baby’s milk is much too much.

Do you think standards have dropped when it comes to safety? What should people do about these health scares?

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