China Recalls: Melamine in Cadbury Chocolate

So, I’ve been slacking on the whole China Recalls scene for quite some time. I used to follow all of the recalls very closely. In case you thought they just up and went away…they didn’t. I will try to get my recall lists updated.

For now you should know that Cadbury has recently had to recall some of their chocolate items that were produced in Beijing China and sold in parts of asia and the pacific because those chocolate products contained melamine. Melamine is a compound that is high in nitrogen. It is sometimes illegally added to food products to increase its protein content to acceptable levels since certain tests measure the nitrogen level to assess the protein content of a product. These tests which are conducted to meet regulations are then misled by adding nitrogen rich compounds like melamine to products. This is, of course, highly illegal. When ingested melamine can be highly toxic. This is not the first time China has been caught adding melamine to food products.

Here is information on the Cadbury recall. It does not affect Cadbury products that are distribued in the United States however it is heinous no matter where the products are distributed.

Article is from HERE

Take a trip down memory lane and view the China recalls of 2007 and 2008. 2008 will be updated soon. EDIT: The 2008 China Recall list is now updated for all lead and magnet based recalls.

2007 China Recalls

2008 China Recalls

Toys Made in America

Cadbury pulls melamine-laced chocolate from China

By MIN LEE, Associated Press Writer Mon Sep 29, 8:26 PM ET

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HONG KONG – British candy maker Cadbury announced a recall Monday of chocolate made in its Beijing factory after it was found to contain melamine, the industrial chemical that has sickened tens of thousands of Chinese children.

The 11 recalled items were sold in parts of Asia and the Pacific, the company said in a statement. Cadbury’s chocolates sold in the United States were not affected, said a spokesman for Hershey’s, Cadbury’s sole U.S. distributor.

Meanwhile, Kraft Foods, the maker of Oreo cookies, and Mars, the maker of M&Ms and Snickers candy, questioned the findings of Indonesian tests that identified melamine in samples of their products made in China.

Both Kraft Foods and Mars said they would comply with an Indonesian recall but planned to conduct their own tests and look into the possibility the tainted products were counterfeits.

Melamine-laced baby formula and other dairy products in China have been blamed for sickening nearly 54,000 children and leading to four infant deaths. The industrial chemical, which is high in nitrogen, is believed to have been added to watered-down milk to mask the resulting protein deficiency and fool quality tests.

Preliminary tests showed melamine in Cadbury chocolates produced at the candy maker’s Beijing factory, but it was too early to say how much of the chemical was in them, said a Cadbury spokesman who declined to be identified because of company policy.

Another official reached through the company’s London office said there was no way the contaminated chocolate could find its way into other countries because the Chinese factory only supplies Australia, Taiwan, Nauru, Hong Kong and Christmas Island.

“That factory in Beijing only exports to those markets. It’s only a small factory,” said the official. He said Chinese production makes up only 0.5 percent of Cadbury’s global sales, and the recalled items are “less than that because it’s only chocolate.”

The recalled products included Cadbury Dark Chocette, Cadbury Eclairs, Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate, Cadbury Dairy Milk Hazelnut Chocolate, Cadbury Dairy Milk Cookies Chocolate and Cadbury Hazelnut Praline Chocolate.

In the United States, Hershey’s spokesman Kirk Saville said the Cadbury distributor “has never purchased milk, including powdered milk, from China,” and that he was “positive” no Hershey’s suppliers receive milk products from the country.

Indonesia’s Food and Drug Monitoring Agency said tests last week found melamine in a dozen products distributed nationwide, including M&Ms, Snickers bars and Oreo wafers.

Manufacturers Kraft and Mars questioned the findings.

“We don’t use any milk ingredients from China in any Oreo products, no matter where they are made or sold,” said Kraft spokeswoman Claire Regan.

Tod Gimbel, Kraft’s director of corporate affairs for the Asia Pacific, said the company “was trying to understand what methodology was used” in Indonesia’s testing.

Mars, in a statement on its Web site, called the Indonesian results “completely inconsistent” with test findings from other government and independent labs in Asia and Europe.

“The vastly different results give Mars significant reason to question the validity of the Indonesian laboratory results,” the company said.

So far, only a local agency has checked the products for melamine, but the levels found were considered very high.

No level of melamine deliberately added to a food product is legal in the United States, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

But the agency said it is conducting a health risk assessment to try to determine if there is a minimal amount that would be acceptable in cases where the chemical finds its way into a product through some other means. For example, melamine could be present in the meat or milk of an animal that was fed tainted feed or it could find its way into food processed in a factory.

Some experts in Asia say small amounts of melamine, which is used to make plastics, may be transferred during food processing.

Guidelines in Hong Kong and New Zealand say melamine in food products is considered safe at 2.5 parts per million or less, though Hong Kong has lowered the level for children under 3 and pregnant or lactating women to 1 part per million.

In China, the government continued its investigation into questionable milk sources.

Police raided dairy farms and milk purchasing stations in northern China, detaining 22 people accused of being involved in a network that manufactured, sold and added melamine to milk, the official Xinhua News Agency reported Monday. Police also seized more than 485 pounds of the chemical.

Chinese officials had previously arrested at least 18 people and detained more than two dozen suspects.

Asian countries continued to tighten controls on Chinese dairy products.

Myanmar’s Commerce Ministry said all Chinese dairy imports had been barred since last week, according to the government affiliated weekly Myanmar Times — a significant move because China is the country’s biggest trade partner. Chinese dairy products are widely sold in impoverished Myanmar, though there have been no reported cases of illnesses.

Crunchville Under Construction and Dot.com

JourneytoCrunchville will be undergoing a lot of cosmetic changes in the near future. I am going to reorganize the site and have dedicated pages for a few various topics. Keep your eye out for a new category of product reviews. I will also be creating a newsletter for these product reviews that you can subscribe to. If you have a product that you would like me to review on the website please contact me at journeytocrunchville@gmail.com.

Also, journeytocrunchville is now a dot.com! Very shortly you will be able to get to the website by going to:

http://www.journeytocrunchville.com

Your feedback on the site is always appreciated, as well.

The Economy and The Bailout

The American Economy is in trouble and has been for a long time. It seems no one in power wants to actually solve the sources of the problem and instead want to keep heading off the inevitable disaster that needs to occur in order for balance and sanity to prevail. The whole stimulus package thing was just silly in my eyes and all though I enjoyed receiving the money I thought it was an awful idea. Obviously it didn’t do a whole lot of good which anyone with half a brain could have told you. I mean, think of the cost of the stamps alone that were spent on that stimulus package. We got multiple statements before we ever got our money and so did the millions of other Americans. This whole bailout thing is an equally disturbing patch on an ever growing hole.

Those of you who have been reading my blog for awhile know that I supported Ron Paul for President (and still do). I got the following statement from him today in my email. Sometimes I think he is the only one with any common sense anymore. For the record I think this Bailout thing is a BAD idea.

This is my favorite quote from Ron Paul’s statement:

“The only thing we learn from history, I am afraid, is that we do not learn from history.”

Ron Paul’s Answer to the President:

Dear Friends:

The financial meltdown the economists of the Austrian School predicted has arrived.

We are in this crisis because of an excess of artificially created credit at the hands of the Federal Reserve System. The solution being proposed? More artificial credit by the Federal Reserve. No liquidation of bad debt and malinvestment is to be allowed. By doing more of the same, we will only continue and intensify the distortions in our economy – all the capital misallocation, all the malinvestment – and prevent the market’s attempt to re-establish rational pricing of houses and other assets.

Last night the president addressed the nation about the financial crisis. There is no point in going through his remarks line by line, since I’d only be repeating what I’ve been saying over and over – not just for the past several days, but for years and even decades.

Still, at least a few observations are necessary.

The president assures us that his administration “is working with Congress to address the root cause behind much of the instability in our markets.” Care to take a guess at whether the Federal Reserve and its money creation spree were even mentioned?

We are told that “low interest rates” led to excessive borrowing, but we are not told how these low interest rates came about. They were a deliberate policy of the Federal Reserve. As always, artificially low interest rates distort the market. Entrepreneurs engage in malinvestments – investments that do not make sense in light of current resource availability, that occur in more temporally remote stages of the capital structure than the pattern of consumer demand can support, and that would not have been made at all if the interest rate had been permitted to tell the truth instead of being toyed with by the Fed.

Not a word about any of that, of course, because Americans might then discover how the great wise men in Washington caused this great debacle. Better to keep scapegoating the mortgage industry or “wildcat capitalism” (as if we actually have a pure free market!).

Speaking about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the president said: “Because these companies were chartered by Congress, many believed they were guaranteed by the federal government. This allowed them to borrow enormous sums of money, fuel the market for questionable investments, and put our financial system at risk.”

Doesn’t that prove the foolishness of chartering Fannie and Freddie in the first place? Doesn’t that suggest that maybe, just maybe, government may have contributed to this mess? And of course, by bailing out Fannie and Freddie, hasn’t the federal government shown that the “many” who “believed they were guaranteed by the federal government” were in fact correct?

Then come the scare tactics. If we don’t give dictatorial powers to the Treasury Secretary “the stock market would drop even more, which would reduce the value of your retirement account. The value of your home could plummet.” Left unsaid, naturally, is that with the bailout and all the money and credit that must be produced out of thin air to fund it, the value of your retirement account will drop anyway, because the value of the dollar will suffer a precipitous decline. As for home prices, they are obviously much too high, and supply and demand cannot equilibrate if government insists on propping them up.

It’s the same destructive strategy that government tried during the Great Depression: prop up prices at all costs. The Depression went on for over a decade. On the other hand, when liquidation was allowed to occur in the equally devastating downturn of 1921, the economy recovered within less than a year.

The president also tells us that Senators McCain and Obama will join him at the White House today in order to figure out how to get the bipartisan bailout passed. The two senators would do their country much more good if they stayed on the campaign trail debating who the bigger celebrity is, or whatever it is that occupies their attention these days.

F.A. Hayek won the Nobel Prize for showing how central banks’ manipulation of interest rates creates the boom-bust cycle with which we are sadly familiar. In 1932, in the depths of the Great Depression, he described the foolish policies being pursued in his day – and which are being proposed, just as destructively, in our own:

Instead of furthering the inevitable liquidation of the maladjustments brought about by the boom during the last three years, all conceivable means have been used to prevent that readjustment from taking place; and one of these means, which has been repeatedly tried though without success, from the earliest to the most recent stages of depression, has been this deliberate policy of credit expansion.

To combat the depression by a forced credit expansion is to attempt to cure the evil by the very means which brought it about; because we are suffering from a misdirection of production, we want to create further misdirection – a procedure that can only lead to a much more severe crisis as soon as the credit expansion comes to an end… It is probably to this experiment, together with the attempts to prevent liquidation once the crisis had come, that we owe the exceptional severity and duration of the depression.

The only thing we learn from history, I am afraid, is that we do not learn from history.

The very people who have spent the past several years assuring us that the economy is fundamentally sound, and who themselves foolishly cheered the extension of all these novel kinds of mortgages, are the ones who now claim to be the experts who will restore prosperity! Just how spectacularly wrong, how utterly without a clue, does someone have to be before his expert status is called into question?

Oh, and did you notice that the bailout is now being called a “rescue plan”? I guess “bailout” wasn’t sitting too well with the American people.

The very people who with somber faces tell us of their deep concern for the spread of democracy around the world are the ones most insistent on forcing a bill through Congress that the American people overwhelmingly oppose. The very fact that some of you seem to think you’re supposed to have a voice in all this actually seems to annoy them.

I continue to urge you to contact your representatives and give them a piece of your mind. I myself am doing everything I can to promote the correct point of view on the crisis. Be sure also to educate yourselves on these subjects – the Campaign for Liberty blog is an excellent place to start. Read the posts, ask questions in the comment section, and learn.

H.G. Wells once said that civilization was in a race between education and catastrophe. Let us learn the truth and spread it as far and wide as our circumstances allow. For the truth is the greatest weapon we have.

In liberty,

Ron Paul

My Little Monster

Garrett is just growing too fast for me. We had a cold front today and instead of being in the 80’s like it has been it was actually chilly so I had to get him dressed in something other than a onesie. I realized none of his 0-3 month footed clothes fit. So with great reluctancy Garrett wore his first 3-6 month outfit today…and it fit! I thought it would be huge and way too big on him but it wasn’t. I’m trying not to be sad about it but I can’t believe how fast he is growing. He is only 5 weeks old!

I decided I better see what his other stats were so here are his stats:

5 weeks old:

13 pounds

24 inches long

He is above the 95th percentile in both height and weight. Here is a neat interactive chart I used

Here is a picture of him in his first 3-6 month outfit and a pic of him with Mike.

I’m sad that this picture turned out kind of blurry because I think it is so cute

Some Recent Pictures

Garrett is 5 weeks old today. We’ve been very busy but here are a few recent pictures. Garrett took his first bath alone yesterday in a baby bathtub (I’ve been bathing with him in our jetted tub). He is growing so big and is starting to have trouble fitting into 0-3 month clothing. Our scale might be wrong because I weigh myself first and then get on the scale again with Garrett to see how much he weighs but the scale said he weighs 13 pounds! He is starting to smile more and more. I hope to get on here soon and write a few of the articles I’ve been trying to get to. Thanks for being patient.

Garrett loves riding in the car. 4 weeks old.

Garrett’s First Bath Alone – almost 5 weeks

Garrett and Miette (my friend Lisa’s daughter)

Beautiful even when she’s pouting

Almost 4 weeks old

Garrett 4 weeks old and Valor is 8 weeks old

Moving…Our New House

Mike and I have finally found a new place to live. We are moving back to Bellingham after living in Eastern Washington for the last 2 years and are happy to get back to the other side of the mountains and closer to family. Looks like we will be moving on October 17th.

We are moving into the bottom half of a beautiful home located on 5 acres of amazing property.  The property is within walking distance to Lake Whatcom. There is a beautiful view of Mt. Shuksan and tons of room for the kids to roam. We were also happy to meet the upstairs neighbor who happens to also be a stay-at-home mom of 4 children and also homeschools, doesn’t vaccinate and avoids food dye, etc which is very exciting. I couldn’t be happier with what we were able to find and how affordable the rent is. The house is very quirky since it was a custom built home and it used to be a Bed and Breakfast so the kids room will be a little weird but the space is huge, over 2000 square feet. Another pitfall is that there is only one bathroom and no bathtub. Cami will have to adjust to only getting to take showers. We decided that was a sacrifice that would be acceptable considering the alternative is to cram our family into a small apartment with no where to play outside.

Here is a picture of the house. I will update with more pictures after we move.

“It’s a Stung”

Well, this is the week of marred faces for us.

Poor Camden. On Monday we were reading stories in the playroom when a bee buzzed by us. Camden took the book and tried to swat it away. The bee didn’t think that was so nice and upon Camden’s assassination attempt the bee became quite angry. I went to go get the fly swatter and take the kamikaze bee out but I was too late.  As my back was turned I was met with a piercing scream followed by frantic crying. At first I thought the bee just scared her but her continued wailing made it very apparent that she’d been stung. The bee got her between her nose, just above her left eye. After some ice, some salve, a cool wash cloth and a distracting movie I finally had a calmer Camden. On Monday her eye didn’t look too bad. Just a little red where she was stung.

This morning, however, I woke up to her eye being very swollen and red. I had to do a double take when I saw her face because I wasn’t expecting it to look like that. I am glad she is old enough to tell people what happened because I felt very self-conscious when we went to the grocery store today. It looks like someone punched her in the eye.

It is very cute to hear her explain to people what happened. “I got stung because I scared the bee. He thought I was going to hit him with that book and I am so big and he’s just small so he was scared so he stung me!” One old lady at the store came up to her and said, “Oh, you have an owie on your face” and Camden replied “No, it’s a stung.” LOL

I’ve still never been stung before…

In better news, Garrett’s rash is almost completely gone. It was definitely prickly heat that he was suffering from because the rash has cleared up just by giving him lukewarm baths and keeping him dressed in only his diaper. He still has a few spots left but it’s almost all completely healed.