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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Is anyone taking any action because of the melamine news story?

Recent news reports (including these articles from the NY Times and Wall Street Journal) have been talking about tainted formula which was fed to babies in China. Chinese Health Ministry officials have said that at least three babies died and 53,000 children had been sickened by drinking milk products containing the toxic chemical called melamine. They say the melamine was used illegally to artificially inflate protein levels in the milk products. Consumption can cause kidney problems and other complications. I had heard about melamine about a month ago, talked it over with TubaDad, and decided it wasn't something that applied in our case since we adopted back in October 2006. Then our adoption agency (one of the largest China-only agencies) emailed that they initially understood the tainted milk was supplied to the manufacturer between January and August 2008, but that they now think the contaminated formula may have been fed to infants as far back as 2006. In a nutshell, they said that anyone who adopted this year needs to know about this, but in addition anyone who adopted children under the age of 18 months in the years of 2006 and 2007 should talk to their pediatricians to see if testing is recommended. So we placed a call. And our pediatrician recommended testing, especially since Ree had turned up with a urinary tract infection this year. Specifically he asked for a blood workup, a urine test, and a kidney ultrasound. We'll get the kidney ultrasounds done later this week, and had the blood and urine tests done today (the girls were absolute champs and got two lollipops each -- a banner day in their books). The first results have already come back clean. Apparently they look at levels for electrolytes, potassium, and creatine, as well as general blood count -- all of which could indicate whether kidney problems are present. The ultrasound will show stones or scarring or if the kidneys are either smaller-than-average or dilated, which could also indicate kidney problems. I don't have anything to do with the medical profession, so please forgive me if I horrendously butchered any of that information. I was writing it down with one hand while holding the phone with the other hand and trying to keep the girls away from the hot oven with my third hand. ;-) Anyhow, that's the information we've received, and I thought it was worth sharing because I don't know if other agencies have contacted their clients. We're not freaking out or overreacting in any way, please know that, and I don't want to cause anyone any undue concern. The odds are that every single test will come back clean, that's what I expect and that's what our pediatrician expects. I think it's just one of those times where we don't want to wonder or wish later that we'd done the tests. Alrighty, that's all from us. Is anyone else checking into this?