What is the human risk from eating food containing melamine?

Our question this week was:

Do you know what the human risk is from food containing melamine?

Answer

Hi – thanks for your email. The FDA and USDA did a joint new release May 7th 2007 about this topic. I'll give it to you now.

FDA/USDA joint news release: Scientists conclude very low risk to humans from food containing melamine

There is very low risk to human health from consuming meat from hogs and chickens known to have been fed animal feed supplemented with pet food scraps that contained melamine and melamine-related compounds, according to an assessment conducted by scientists from five federal agencies.

In the most extreme risk assessment scenario, when scientists assumed that all the solid food a person consumes in an entire day was contaminated with melamine at the levels observed in animals fed contaminated feed, the potential exposure was about 2,500 times lower than the dose considered safe. In other words, it was well below any level of public health concern.

For more information, see the FDA press release at http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/2007/NEW01629.html or the USDA press release at http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usdahome?contentidonly=true&contentid=2007/05/0128.xml.

See also: Melamine and analogues safety/risk assessment fact sheet (USDA Web site)

An article that might be helpful to you is on our Petplace.com is Pet Food Recall Update from Dr. Debra

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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