Is The Whey Based Protein Powder/Bar/Drink You Eat Made With Chinese Contaminated Milk Protein aka Melamine?

Do you know if it is? Do you know if it’s not?

Most protein powders, protein bars and protein drinks are made with whey protein, which is made from milk. Is your government checking and letting you know if the whey protein products that you’re eating or drinking safe to consume? Especially since the whole Chinese baby milk scandal was because the biggest dairy companies in China were watering down there milk to make more money and using melamine  to hide that since adding melamine increases the protein content in such poisoned milk products so the milk doesn’t look like it’s watered down.

By 22 September, nearly 53,000 illnesses, over 12,800 hospitalizations, and four infant deaths had been reported, caused by kidney stones and other renal failure. The chemical appeared to have been added to milk in order to cause it to appear to have a higher protein content.”

Melamine is a metabolite of cyromazine, a pesticide… Ingestion of melamine may lead to reproductive damage, or bladder or kidney stones, which can lead to bladder cancer

Melamine was also used in the 2007 Chinese pet food scandal where pet food made from China killed dogs and cats in North America, Europe and South Africa. But it wasn’t just pet food.

the FDA and U.S. Department of Agriculture said that between 2.5 and 3 million people in the United States had consumed chickens that had consumed feed containing contaminated vegetable protein from China

Both Chinese

government officials and manufacturers went so far as to deny that vegetable protein was even exported from China and refused for weeks to allow foreign food safety investigators to enter the country….

Well it’s not just a Chinese problem anymore.

It is now clear that China has exported dairy products like powdered milk and milk protein products around the globe and we know that some of them came to the United States,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food and Water Watch. “It is time for the F.D.A. to take this issue seriously and stop the import of dairy products from China until this situation is under control.

The US has imported two million pounds of a milk protein called casein this year, along with other powdered milk proteins that are used as ingredients in many processed foods, according to figures from the United States Department of Agriculture. This includes 293,000 pounds that were imported in July. The Food and Drug Administration did not immediately return calls for comment on Thursday.

I don’t know if or how much Chinese milk protein product were imported into Canada, but if the US did, highly likely we did. Here in Vancouver Canada, there are a lot of health food and supplement stores selling protein powders, not only for body builders and athletes, but also for those who want a quick and easy source of protein. I’ve been told by one store that some of the American made protein powder come from whey made in China.

Why is no one in the media or opposition politicians in the election asking questions about the safety of protein powders, drinks and bars especially since the vast majority of them are made with whey or milk protein?

I’m not saying that I know for sure that there is melamine contaminated protein on our shelves, but I’m saying it’s a definite possibility there could be, and consumers have a right to know, and no one in Canada or America seems to be checking to protect us, and they should. The Europeans and Asians are.

European Union regulators on Thursday ordered rigorous testing of imports containing at least 15 percent milk powder after concluding that food containing tainted milk powder from China may well be circulating in Europe and putting children at risk.

So did Indonesia and the Philippines. Why is Canada and America so far behind? Is it the neoconservative beliefs of the Stephen Harper conservatives here in Canada  who don’t want the government to regulate food safety but for ideological reason prefer that industry do itself? This idea the Tories get from the US Republican party that most governmental regulations are evil and kill or reduce them as much as possible and let industry regulate itself? US President George Bush was so against insanely regulating industry that he cancelled a regulation reducing the level of arsenic in the drinking water. Arsenic!

Hi, please re-elect the Conservatives (or the Republicans in the US) with a majority government because we don’t believe in government and want to do are best to weaken or eliminate as much government as possible and let the private sector watch and govern itself instead of having government do so because there’s never any dishonest or unethical people in business, just in other areas:) Well that worked out well on Wall Street didn’t it? Or the 2008 Canadian Maple Leaf meat poisoning (listeriosis) outbreak with 18 dead so far, and probably more to come since the symptoms may not appear for 90 days. The Harper government transferred inspection duties for the Canadian food inspection agency to the meat industry. Maple Leaf was an early adopter. Harper even lobbied to have US listeria standards lowered. Read the excellent editorial on the topic Listeriosis is the least of it by the  Canadian Medical Association Journal (PDF)

Why aren’t Canadian and American regulators doing the same as the Europeans and Asians? They should be checking to see if any protein based products that come from milk or milk proteins made from China are in our stores and if there is they should be banned or at the least tested for melamine and the consumer should know about it. Milk and protein powder, bar and drinks are the obvious ones but what other food products might be infected? Protein is added as ingredients in other foods too under various names. The governments should also make it mandatory to list if ingredients in foods drinks or supplement come from foreign countries and list that on the labels.

One of the 21 dairy firms in China new about the problem in December but “did not even begin testing its milk for dangerous substances until June, the cabinet probe reportedly found.”

The London Times reports that half of all dangerous goods seized in Europe in 2007 came from China. Also

The determination to stage a perfect Olympic Games may also have delayed revelation of the adulterated milk powder. Twenty-one topics were banned from Chinese media during the Olympics – eighth on the list was food safety scandals.

So the Chinese communist government was willing to let their own citizens babies die so they wouldn’t get negative publicity during the Olympics. Wow.

I think that all food products from China should be tested for safety, it’s not like this is the only time this has happened and even though they occasionally execute people for corruption, it still goes on. Corruption, lack of proper government oversight, lack of truly free and independent consumer protection organizations and lack of a free press to report on such corruption and public safety seems to be quite a deep systemic problems in China, much more so than in the west. Although we sometimes have corruption and scandals too (In Canada read On The Take: Crime, Corruption And Greed In The Mulroney Years, in the US under the Republican party, there’s been just too many to for me to remember) we still have a semi free press to expose such things, China doesn’t.

Why isn’t your local and national media asking these questions? Why aren’t your politicians, especially the opposition parties asking these questions in the midst of national elections in both countries? If not for the good of the country at least for their own partisan political advanatage. Are some parties more concerned about letting companies do whatever they want with minimal or no government oversight so their neoconservative ideology is pure, (or perhaps it may be due to maintaining the wealth of their campaign contributors), or are they willing to use government to do what the main function of government should be, protect their citizens from harm. Think about that when you vote.

I tried contacting the national offices of the 3 opposition parties in Canada, the Liberal party, the Green party and the NDP to suggest that they look into it, most of them seemed clueless even when I spelled out for them. I left voice mails with the news tip lines of the local papers the Vancouver Sun and Province, but had no responses.

Maybe some of you might start asking member of the media and your local politicians these questions and more if you value your health.

Apologies for the long post, did it while trying to get out the door to go to Barcamp Vancouver 2008.

I just edited this for clarity the next day.

6 thoughts on “Is The Whey Based Protein Powder/Bar/Drink You Eat Made With Chinese Contaminated Milk Protein aka Melamine?”

  1. Thanks for the valuable information.

    I have been using whey protein supplement for athletic purpose. The brand that I have used is Optimum Nutrition (ON).

    Is there any chance that it might be contaminated too with melamine ?

    How to check the melamine contamination chemically ???

    Any responses welcome at fitsandy at gmail dot com


  2. You’re welcome Sandeep,

    I don’t know if it is or is not. I assume some sort of testing lab would be able to find out. You might want to contact the company or health Canada’s food inspection branch I think to find out.

  3. guy adam joe

    oh great….I thought I was just paranoid about my sore kidneys a while ago this winter. I quit taking a whey protein isolate called ISOFLEX , made by ALLMAX nutrition after thinking maybe there is a connection. The web site for this product is , I wonder if I dare look there for any recalls! As I still have some of this powder left , is there anyone in Regina ,Sask. that can analyze it for melamine?email me please.

  4. After drinking a whey protein powder mixed into a shake, I get a terrible stomach ache for hours after. This has never happened to me before. After 3 days of this, I quit and wondered if this was common. I found many, MANY users who are experiencing the same thing…mostly in the past several months – even after they had been using whey protein for years with no problems at all. It got me thinking about the melamine laced imported food products from China and that is when I found your article. This is really scary, and I hope this becomes more publicized, because this can’t just be a huge coincidence. Please pursue this. Thank you!

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