Melamine Contaminated Food May Cause Birth Defects
Melamine Contaminated Food May Cause Birth Defects

A Chinese shopkeeper serves a customer next to packets of White Rabbit candy on sale at a food store in Shanghai. White Rabbit candy has been found to be contaminated with melamine. (Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)
A Chinese shopkeeper serves a customer next to packets of White Rabbit candy on sale at a food store in Shanghai. White Rabbit candy has been found to be contaminated with melamine. (Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)

According to a report released by the Yangcheng Evening News, Lin He, a geneticist and member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, noted in his speech to the Summit Medical Academy that the continually increasing amounts of melamine contaminated food found in Chinese diets may be one of the most important factors resulting in the soaring number of birth defects in China.

He said that the rate of birth defects in China has risen to four percent and it is likely to continue to grow. Over the past year as many as 15 percent of newborns in Guangzhou City were diagnosed with birth defects such as multi-toe, Palestinian child's edema, congenital heart disease, and cleft lip and palate. The birth defects were caused by many factors, including environmental pollution, lead paints used in homes, home furnishings, poor lifestyle choices, and malnutrition.

When asked whether the drinking of melamine contaminated milk powder by pregnant mothers could impact the unborn child,  He replied that the long-term consumption of food containing melamine would obviously have health implications. The experiments on animals have confirmed a high risk of cancer.

There are many processed foods in China today that contain melamine, which might be the main cause of birth defects in China. The poisoned milk and egg products have not only increased kidney stones in babies, but also contributed to the increasing number of birth defects. The long term impact of such melamine contamination and its effect on future generations remains unknown.

Original article in Chinese.

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