November 28, 2008

DT Freakout Friday: Thanks A Lot Edition

Some alarming news and way-too-preliminary research to be thankful for this week:

  • Thanks a lot, FDA, for the giant hit to your credibility about this whole melanine-in-baby-formula thing. I was all prepared to be all, "Bah, melamine-tainted formula is a Chinese problem," even when I read the CNN headline: Trace amounts of melamine found in 1 formula sample. Even though the article said the FDA did not have a recommended safe ppm level of melamine for baby formula. And even though the flack for the International Formula Council's [? really?] use of the word "apparently" inspires zero confidence. ["Apparently these trace levels can be found in lots of food," said spokeswoman Mardi Mountford."]

    But then the Washington Post pointed out that the FDA does in fact have a safety recommendation for melamine in formula: none. And then your people just contradicted it. [cnn, washpost, via dt readers lee and chad]

  • Thanks, Washington Post, for at least naming the formula brands that turned out to be tainted--Good Start Supreme with Iron and Enfamil with Lipil--even though the latter is our brand. Oy. [washpost]

  • UPDATE: Thanks again, FDA, for suddenly setting a safety level for melamine traces in infant formula on the same day you claimed to not have enough data to set such a standard. And thanks for setting it so that the melamine traces you detected are--surprise!--not unsafe at all! [AP via tpm]

  • Thanks, too, to Abbott Labs, makers of Similac, the third formula giant, for disclosing that melamine was found in your formula, too. [ibid.]

  • Thanks, Brazilian scientists, for the best press release title the best study of the week, "Pregnant women who do aquarobics have easier deliveries," which is published in the Journal of Totally Objective Aquarobics Research or somesuch. [eurekalert

  • Thanks, NIH! An 18-year long longitudinal study of the television viewing habits of 13,000 kids in the US sponsored by the NIH and published in the Journal of Law and Economics finds that eliminating fast food advertisements targeted at children will reduce the incidence of obesity among kids 3-11 years old by 18 percent. [jle abstract]

  • Thanks for shopping at Toys R Us, unless, of course, you engage in a shootout with another customer, resulting in two fatalies. [latimes]

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