Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Baby Taboo - No Shoe Until One Year Old??

Ryan got his first pair of shoes the other day. My sister Jenny bought him the first pair. It's Carters, white, made of cloth and is totally comfortable and stunning on him. He looks so cute and handsome with his shoes on. We bought it at a 20% discount and it still cost her close to RM20. Anyway, we reckon that he will be able to wear the shoe probably for another 3 months before he will outgrow them. I guess I would have to `persuade' Jenny to replace it with a larger one then.

The funny thing is, we are totally ignorant of all the taboos or `pantang larang' that the older folks have when it comes to children and believe me, for Chinese, they are lots of it. We were a little surprised when we brought Ryan out recently for a function, nicely with his shoes on and showing off when someone asked us whether we got the approval from my mum. Emmmmm....stupid as it sounds, we were like ...errr...."WHY??""

Apparently, according to the Chinese taboo, babies should not be wearing any shoes until they have celebrated their one year old birthday. Ryan is exactly 4 months old today. Don't ask me why because I have no idea or glue whatsoever that prohibits babies wearing shoes. Anyway, since we were ignorant of the taboo, we have not asked and went ahead. Luckily, my mum didn't say much about the shoe wearing issue when we brought Ryan home to visit her during the last weekend, except, for a brief moment, when she was queried by another `auntie'. She brushed if off saying something like "modern couple nowadays". I didn't want to ask her for the reason in order not to aggravate the incident or create an issue.

If you have a story to tell about why a baby should not be wearing shoe before their one year old birthday, we will be happy to hear about it. There are lots of other taboos. For instance, we are not supposed to comment in front of the baby that he is a good boy or he has grown well. In fact, come to think of it, we not supposed to say anything positive in front of him. The reason is that the baby might just react negatively to such comments and behave negatively. How on earth can we start implanting positive thoughts in our babies if we can't tell them that they are OK?? And there are also a load of superstition and taboos for an expecting mother. Probably more of that in my next post. But if you any to share, it will be interesting.

So what Is SAFE??

It was reported the Yahoo News on the 26th September 2008 (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080926/ap_on_bi_ge/as_china_tainted_milk) that baby cereal from Heinz and Silang House steamed potato wasabi crackers were also found to be contaminated by the Hong Kong authorities. As a precautionary measure, Heinz have issued a recall of the affected product. Meanwhile, it was also reported that Marudai Food Co, in Japan has already pulled back it's products including cream buns, meat buns and creamed corn crepes from supermarkets. Macau, too have reported to have detected melamine contamination at 24 times the safety limit in Koala March's cookies, made by Lotte China Food Co.

On the 29th Sept 2008, it was reported that Cadbury, the British chocolate maker, was ordering a recall of it's Chinese-made products after saying that tests "cast doubts" on their safety. Two other US food makers have also started their investigations on Indonesian claims that high traces of melamine had been found in China-made Oreos, M&Ms and Snickers, but they stressed that the same goods had been tested negative in other Asian countries. By the way, Kraft Foods Malaysia has declared that their entire Oreo range including Oreo Wafer Sticks does not contain milk ingredients sourced from China while Mars Malaysia have also declared that "we are confident that none of our chocolate or confectionery products made in China (Snickers and M&Ms) include any dairy ingredients adulterated with melamine - and they remain safe for consumption."

Cadbury is said to have recalled 11 chocolate products made at the Beijing's factory distributed in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Australia. Kraft Foods Inc and Mars Inc meanwhile, said that they would adhere to a recall order of Oreo wafers, M&Ms and Snickers in Indonesia, but insisted that they wanted to conduct their own tests with outside experts. As a precaution, Hong Kong supermarket chain ParknShop was also reported to have pulled Chinese-made Oreo, M&M and Snickers off their shelves.

We, in Malaysia, have been a list of products declared as "Safe" over the last couple of days. I am personally uncertain as to whether, all the products were actually tested by the Ministry or were they declared safe based on the assurance given by the respective manufacturers. As of now, I will try to stay off dairy products as much as we possibly can and make sure that Ryan is on breast milk as much as he can until we have more positive news that the worst is over. But seriously, how would we, a small normal consumer, would ever know?????

10000 more down as a result of tainted milk

It was reported by Reuters that as many as 10,000 more additional cases of children who have developed kidney illnesses after consuming tainted milk (as reported by the The Star 27th September 2008). If this true, we are looking at a total figure of close to 64,000 babies or children becoming victims to the greed of a few man wanting to make a few dollars more. No additional deaths have been reported (four reported so far), and the WHO representative in China said that effective medical help made many more deaths unlikely. I certainly hope that they are right although I'm doubtful given the high number of children reportedly affected, the duration of which the scandal had been allowed to continue (closed to 8 months after the tainted milk incident was discovered) and the manner of which the truth has been reported so far.

It was reported that much of the additional 10000 cases were detected in Hebei, the northern province where Sanlu Dairy group is based. There were also no reports so far from China's big commercial hub such as Shanghai but the state media said that many infants may have been affected. We are likely to see more victims and possibly deaths not only from China but probably other countries where the tainted milk powder have been exported to and consumed.
In Hong Kong, a fifth child, a 10 year old boy was reported to be found suffering kidney problems related to drinking tainted milk.

Friday, September 26, 2008

StemLife - A Gift of Love, An Insurance of Hope

Collecting and storing stem cells for my baby was introduced to me a couple of months before Ryan is due by a good friend of mine. He strongly advocate the advantages and said that the benefits far outweighs the cost. I wasn't exactly paying much attention to it until 2 days before we knew Ryan would be delivered. My wife was asking me whether we should go ahead. Honestly, I have no idea then what stem cells are and what they could do. Anyway, we got in touch with one of their sales personnel who came to pay us a visit at the hospital the night before Ryan is to be delivered (Talk about last minute decision!) She came at 8pm and share with us what stem cells are and what is possible now with stem cells technology. Being a layman, I don't think I can fully comprehend the entire thing (especially when our minds were more on the arrival of Ryan the following morning).

But in nutshell, stem cells are the body's master cells that create all other tissues, organs and systems in the body and these cells are found aplenty in the cord blood which forms the building blocks for our blood and immune system. They are apparently able to reproduce red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. So basically, if we harvest and store these stem cells for Ryan, these same stem cells can be used in the future should Ryan's body needs these building blocks to regenerate or reproduce new healthy blood cells or tissue to replace those damage. If you ask me, I would prefer that these stem cells would NEVER be needed at all for Ryan. Can stem cells do all that it claims and even more in the future? Why not? Who knows what science and research could do with stem cells 20 to 30 years or even 40 years in the future.

So, amidst the limited understanding that we could gathered during the 30 minutes presentation, we made the calculation of what it would cost us (painful), made the decision, filled up the forms and got the collection kit, all ready for Ryan's arrival the following morning. The basis of our decision is simple. The cost is not exorbitant. We are talking of a one time cost for RM2500 and a yearly storage fee of RM250 (with credit card installment payment). The benefits right now might not be clear but the potential of what it could do for Ryan in years to come (with ever growing and advancing technology) is definitely intriguing. The question that we asked ourselves therefore, was, "What if stem cells could do all that it claims now and more in the future when Ryan really needs them, and we have failed to provide him that opportunity?" So with that, Ryan is now a StemLife baby. For us, it is a Gift of Love and an Insurance of Hope.

For me, there goes my plans to purchase my new XBOX 360 and the portable steering wheel to simulate the speed of a Ferrari F1 tearing down the Sepang circuit or take on Hamilton at Monaco. There is still a need for speed nowadays. It's the speed of how fast I can change the diapers for Ryan before he starts yelling and the speed of preparing his bottle before he brings down the house!

I guess that is what being a parent is all about.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I am an ADDICT!

Seriously. I'm an ADDICT, and a serious one too! I'm totally and hopelessly addicted to the smell of my baby. How you ever smell them especially their head? He has a distinct baby smell and it's so pleasant and sweet. So addicted am I that I would quietly smell him as he lay sound asleep next to me during the night. I have got my wife addicted too...hehe... So now, we would both take turns smelling him at night. If you have not try it, I would strongly encourage you to try it. The best time to smell them is just after you have given them a bath or a wash up. They will smell so clean and fresh. I've not smell other babies before but I strongly believe that each baby has his or her own unique smell. And I can guarantee you that you will be an ADDICT like me before long. In fact, even my babysitter told me the other day that Ryan smells nice too! The best part is when you smell them while they are awake and they smile right back at you (like the time I did in the picture while we were holidaying at Shangrila KL). The moment is priceless......

List of Safe Dairy Products in Malaysia

The following products were declared safe by the Malaysian Government as reported by The STAR on the 24th and 25th September 2008

Enfalac A+;Enfalac Routine Infant Formula;Enfapro A+;Enfapro Routnine Follow Up Formula;Enfagrow A+ Vanilla;Enfagrow A+ Original;Enfagrow A+ Honey;Enfakid A+ Original;Enfakid A+ Honey;Sustagen Junior Honey;Sustagen Junior Vanilla;Sustagen Junior Chocolate;Sustagen Kid Honey;Sustagen Kid Vanilla;Sustagen Kid Chocolate;Sustagen School Honey;Sustagen School Vanilla;Sustagen School Chocolate;Enfamama A+ Chocolate;Enfamama A+ Vanilla;Enfalac A+ AR;Enfalac A+ HA;Prosobee;Enfalac LF;Enfalac A+ Premature Powder

Company: DUMEX
Bebelac EC;Bebelac FL;Bebelac Kid Step 3;Bebelac Kid Step 4;Bebelac Step 1;Bebelac Step 2;Dugro 1 Plus;Dugro 3 Plus;Dugro 6 Plus;Dulac Infant Formula;Dupro Follow Up Formula;Mamex Gold Step 1;Mamex Gold Step 2;Mamex LF;Mamil Gold Step 3;Mamil Gold Step 4;Mamil Mama
Nutrakids Cereals

Company: NESTLE
Cap Junjung sweetened beverage creamer;Cappuccino Topping;Carnation Evaporated Creamer;Coffeemate;Coffeemate Lite;Coulis De Tomato tomato sauce;Everyday Instant filled milk powder;Favorita range of products;Honey Stars breakfast cereal;Ideal Full Cream Evaporate Milk;Kit Kat range of products;Lactogen 1 with DHA;Lactogen 2 with DHA;Lactogen 3 Nan 2;Maggi fixes and Maggi soup containing milk;Mat Kool range of products;Milo Balls/Milo BFC;Milo range of products;Nan 2 with Probiotics;Nan 3;Nan HA Alcalese;Nan HA1;Nan HA2;Nescafe 3 in 1;Nescafe Body Partners;Nescafe Cappuccino ;Nescafe Latte;Nescafe Mocha Freeze;Nescafe range of can drink products;Neslac 1+ Honey;Neslac 1+ Original;Neslac 3+ Honey;Neslac 3+ Original;Nespray 1+ Honey;Nespray 1+ Original;Nespray 3+ Honey;Nespray 3+ Original;Nespray 5+ ;Nespray Cergas;Nespray Instant;Nespray UHT;Nesquik UHT;Nestle Bliss Zero;Nestle Cereals (Premium infant cereals);Nestle Complete Mashed Potato;Nestle Crunch;Nestle Dairy Sterilised Reduced Cream;Nestle Drumstick range of products;Nestle Fat Yogurt Drink;Nestle Full Cream Milk;Nestle KFC desert orange sherbert;Nestle Low Fat Milk;Nestle Milky Bar and Crunch;Nestle Nan 1;Nestle Natural Yogurt;Nestle Omega Acticol;Nestle Omega Plus Everyday Instant Filled Milk Powder;Nestle Omega UHT;Nestle Original Lime/Vanilla;Nestle Potong read bean;Nestle Prebio 1 (infant cereals with milk);Nestle Prebio 2 Rusk Banana;Nestle Prebio 2 Rusk Original;Nestle Premium Fruit;Nestle Pre-nan;Nestle range of ice cream;Nestle Sundae cup KFC Vanilla;Nestle Sundae Cup Vanilla;Nestle Tea-Time Creamer;Nestle Teh Tarik;Nestle Tropicana Lime/Vanilla;Nestle Yogurt Drinks;Nestomalt;Nesturm Cereals 3 in 1;Nesturm Sarapan Berkhasiat;Nesvita 3 in 1;Nesvita Hi Cal UHT;Nesvita High Cal Non Fat;Nesvita UHT;Nesvita with Actifibras;Nutren 1.0 Vanilla;Nutren 1.0 with Fiber Vanilla;Nutren Diabetes;Nutren Junior Vanilla;Nutren Optimum;Peptamen Junior;Peptamen Vanilla;Purell Mashed Potato Granules with skim milk;Whole Water Soluble Milo; Yoco range;Yogurt

Anchor butter;Anchor Colby Cheddar blend shread;Anchor cream cheese;Anchor culinary cream (UHT);Anchor full cream milk powder;Anchor mozzarella cheese;Anchor processed cheddar cheese;Anchor whipping cream (UHT);Anlene Concentrate UHT;Anlene Gold Milk Powder;Anlene Regular milk Powder (Plain/chocolate);Anlene Yogurt;Anmum growing up milk powder 1+;Anmum growing up milk powder 3+;Anmum Infacare followup formula;Anmum Infacare Infant Formula;Anmum Lacta Milk Powder;Anmum Materna Milk powder;Chesdale slice cheese;Fernleaf Calciyum yogurt;Fernleaf full cream milk powder;Fernleaf growing up milk powder 1+;Fernleaf growing up milk powder 3+;Fernleaf Instant Milk Powder;Fernleaf Kuat milk powder

Company: MAMEE
Nutrigen Cultured Milk;Nutrigen IQ3 Cultured Milk;Nutrigen Liteyo Stirred Yogurt;Nutrigen Liteyo Yogurt Drink

Completa Evaporated Milk;Dutch Lady 0% Fat Drinking Yoghurt range of products;Dutch Lady 2;Dutch Lady Full Cream Milk Powder (plain);Dutch Lady Growing Up Milk 123 range of products;Dutch Lady Growing Up Milk 456 range of products;Dutch Lady Iced Latte range of products;Dutch Lady Instant Filled Milk Powder range of products;Dutch Lady Langkah 1&2 range of products;Dutch Lady Low Fat Eating Yoghurt range of products;Dutch lady Sterilised Milk range of products;Dutch Lady UHT Milk range of Products;Frisco range of products;Frisolac 1 Gold;Frisolac 2 Gold;Frisolac Comfort;Joy Fruit Juice range of Products;Shine 0% Fat Cup Yoghurt range of products;Sweetened Creamer range of products;Yes! Grape;Yes! Orange;Yes! Strawberry;Yes! Tutti Frutti

Drinho Rose Bandung;Dutch Mill;Nugrow


Enercal Plus;Nursoy;Progress;Progress Gold;Promil;Promil Gold;Promise;Promise Gold;S26;S26 Gold;S26 HMF;S26 LBW;SMA;Wyeth Mama

Marigold Cream Yogurt;Marigold evaporated creamer;Marigold evaporated filled milk;Marigold HL Milk;Marigold Pasturised Milk;Marigold Sweetened condensed filled milk;Marigold sweetened creamer;Marigold sweetened creamer (From Singapore);Marigold UHT Milk;Marigold Yogurt Drink;Vitagen Collagen cultured milk drink;Vitagen cultured milk drink

Horlicks 3 in 1;Horlicks Instant cereal drink;Horlicks Malt Food Drink;Horlicks Malties

Alimentum ;Ensure Glucerna;Gain Kid Advance EYEQ;Gain Kid EYEQ Advance Shield (NEW);Gain Plus Advance EYEQ;Gain Plus EYEQ Advance Shield (NEW);Grow 3+;Grow 6+;Isomil + Advance EYEQ;Isomil Advance EYEQ;Pediasure;Pediasure Complete;Prosure;Similac Advance EYEQ;Similac Advance EYEQ with Iron;Similac Advance Shield (NEW);Similac Gain Advance EYEQ;Similac Gain Advance Shield (NEW);Similac LF;Similac Neosure\

Yakult Ace

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Tainted Milk - Cover up since December 2007

It was reported that Sanlu Group, the dairy firm first found to be selling melamine contaminated milk powder that sparks off a world wide panic on Chinese exported dairy products, knew or were aware of the problem as early as December 2007 when they received complaints of sick children. It was also reported that officials in the northern city of Shijiazhuang, where Sanlu is based, delayed referring the matter to higher authorities for more than a month after Sanlu finally told them about the problem on the 2nd August 2008.

The company did not act, conducted test or recall any of the products between December 2007 to 2nd August 2008 and during the eight months, have continue to allow their contaminated products to be distributed and further consumed by thousands if not millions of innocent babies.

If the problem was reported and acted upon immediately upon discovery, the damage and effects would be probably be less devastating. However, reporting an immediate problem does not seemed to be China's strength. In fact, when it is reported or when their government seemed to be aggressively reacting, often times, the problem would have already `exploded' beyond cover up. SARS vividly brings back similar sad memories of how the government has tried to cover up the problem until the problem became an international health issue and many innocent lives were sacrificed.

I can't imagine what else is still being covered up or dressed up from within. I am just waiting for the next `explosion' and only God knows what it will be. I wonder how many more lives will be affected or lost by the next cover up................

4 reported cases from tainted milk in Hong Kong

The Star reported today that Hong Kong authorities reported yesterday that two more children had fallen ill in the city with kidney stones after drinking Chinese dairy products. Hence the total number of cases reported is now four.

We have yet to hear cases reported in other countries where the milk powder has been exported to like Bangladesh, Myanmar, Africa and Taiwan. And I'm quite certain the number of cases will not stop at 53,000 in China as more parents are bringing their children into hospitals for test and treatment. Only God knows what is the actual number of affected babies as a result of pure human greed.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I was a little caught up with the current milk contamination issue for the past few days. As expected, the news get worse every passing day, as reports of higher number of victims, widening effects of the scandal, bans and recalls by numerous countries and panic stricken parents continues to roll in. As I look at my own baby, I can only pray that he would not have to go through the pain that many babies are going through now in China. When he was taken ill when he was only 2 months old with flu, cold and cough, we were already worried sick. I just can't imagine what a wreck we will become if he too is caught in the scandal. My heart and prayer continues to go out for every single affected parent world wide. May they find the strength and endurance that is greatly needed to pull through this difficult times.

I came across an extremely helpful site by the Malaysian Paediatric Association of Malaysia, known as Positive Parenting. The site contains many useful information to both expecting mothers, parents as well as to parents with growing infants and kids. There are sections on Maternal Care, Child Care and Paediatrics, Family Matters and Nutrition (which include topics like breastfeeding and complementary feedings).

Bookmark this site for your future reference. I certainly have because I've found that bringing up a child responsibly is no easy or laughing matter. Enjoy the site and I certainly hope that the information there would greatly assist you as much as it has enlightened me.


Monday, September 22, 2008

White Rabbit Candy - Second Time Around

The Singapore's AVA was reported to have found traces of melamine contamination in the While Rabbit Candy 2 days ago and have issued a ban and recall of this product. Following Singapore's discovery, our government has issued a similar directive. But what is interesting to me was the fact that this is not the first time that the White Rabbit Candy was caught in the limelight. An article by the Star Online dated 30th July 2007, reported that the Malaysian government has already instructed stricter checks (especially in Sabah) on this brand of candy after reports in the Philippines that samples were tainted with formaldehyde, a preservative and embalming chemical that can cause cancer. However, AP reported that China has resumed shipments of candy to the Philippines after tests by the Chinese government showed the chemical was not present in the product.
According to Shanghai-based candy manufacturer Guan Shen Yuan Company, distributors in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong had performed their own tests and found the confection to be formaldehyde-free. One year later, I guess all these governments would have to ban the same product that is now tainted with melamine.
Malaysia was reported to be imported a total of RM58bil worth of goods from China in 2006 and is the third largest buyer of China-made products. Given the current melamine contamination scandal and the list of products banned by many other countries due to various contamination, this is definitely not welcoming news for a normal consumer in this country. The question is, can we live without any China-made products in our lives?

Is this safe?

The Star Online reported today that the Malaysian government has widened it's ban on dairy products imported from China to include confectionery that include milk, chocolate, chocolate milk, white chocolate and other foods that contain milk. This decision was apparently made following the discovery by Singapore's AVA that the `White Rabbit Creamy Candy' imported from China was found to be contaminated by melamine.

Out of curiosity, I was browsing through a supermarket to see whether are there any dairy products or confectionery products manufactured in China that are still on our shelves. I came across this bar of Skittles Candies (shown in picture) that cost me Rm1.49. A closer check revealed that this candy was manufactured by Mars Foods (China) Co Ltd. Made In China. Although there is no specific mention of milk or dairy related ingredient (as understood by a man on the street like me), the question is therefore, is this bar of candy safe for my child? Are there any other similar products in the market today? Honestly, I don't know but I am totally agreeable to ban all such related products from China.
In fact, I'm curious as to how our government safeguards the consumers against imported products to ensure that these products are safe and free from any contamination, or unsafe additives. Whenever we pick up a can of imported luncheon meat, corn beef, a packet of imported sausages, or a can of pickled vegetables or a bottle of imported oyster sauce, how can we be sure that they are safe? Or we would never know until someone somewhere falls seriously ill before we start banning such products. Are we therefore passive and reactive instead of pro-actively ensuring that all imported food products undergo stringent tests before they are allowed into the country? I wonder.............

Tainted Milk - Tip of an Iceberg

As I predicted, the damage of the recent tainted milk scandal in China has spread like uncontrollable wild fire. Japan Today reported that the Chinese Health authorities have reported over 39,000 cases reported as treated and recovered while another 13,000 infants are still hospitalised. Yahoo News reported today that over 13,000 infants were taken ill and 80% of the those affected were under 2 years old. http://www.japantoday.com/category/world/view/health-officials-say-50000-sickened-by-tainted-milk-in-china

Contaminated products now extend beyond just baby milk powder. More contamination were reported found in regular milk (reported by Star World 19/9/08) while it was reported that Hong Kong authorities have found melamine contamination in drinks, ice-creams and yogurt made by Yili, one of the big brands that was selling the contaminated milk on the mainland. It was also reported that Hong Kong's two main supermarket chains were recalling milk powder made by Swiss manufacturer Nestle after a newspaper reported it contains melamine. It's a case of better be sorry than wrong.

As the damage spreads, countries including Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Japan and Brunei have been reported to either ban or recall all China imported dairy products. The first case of kidney stone as a result of drinking melamine tainted milk was also reported in Hong Kong over the weekend to a 3 year old girl. Meanwhile Singapore's Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) has also issued a warning that White Rabbit Creamy Bar, a popular Chinese brand of sweet milk was also found contaminated with melamine. http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080922/wl_nm/china_milk_dc_5. It was reported in the Star World news on the 20th September 2008 that Singapore's AVA have also found traces of melamine in their Dutch Lady-brand strawberry milk manufactured in China.

Taiwanese company King Car Co. was reported to have announced recalling packs of it's Mr. Brown instant coffee and milk powder imported from China.

Fonterra, the New Zealand based multinational company and world largest exporter of dairy products who owns a miniority 43% shares of the scandal related Sanlu in China, assures consumers in Malaysia that their products which include Annum, Fernleaf, Anlene, Chesdale and Anchor are 100% safe. It claims that all it's dairy products in Malaysia have been using only imported milk from New Zealand.

Although Malaysia has assured that we do not import any dairy products from China and have banned the import of such products, I'm not sure whether the government could control the entry of such products via other `means'. There are many greedy businessmen out there who would `go all out' to earn an extra dollar and Chinese products with their low cost would certainly looked attractive. In fact, during one of my conversation with one of the retailers, he was taken aback and told me that While Rabbit Creamy Bar was found to be contaminated. He claimed that he apparently have carried such stock in his store before although he doesn't have any of them now. Well, although this claim could not be vouched, but there is a real risk that such products could have entered the country unknown to our government.

It was reported in the Star World news today (22/09/08) that more than 40 tonnes of Chinese-imported food products has been recalled in South Korea since 2006 because they contained inedible and harmful substances. It was reported by Yonhap news agency that 40.6 tonnes of imports had been discarded as bacteria, carcinogens (any substance that is any agent directly involved in the promotion of cancer) and other banned additives were found in them. Their food safety regulators reports Chinese-imported cookies and cakes were last year found repeatedly to contain cancer-causing substances like cyclamate nitrofuran. 13 tonnes of Chinese-imported snacks were also reported recalled earlier this year.

It's shocking. For now, I am checking the manufacturing and packaging country of all the products that I'm picking up from the shelves and anything that distinctly looks like there are being from China would definitely remain on the shelves and not my home.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Tainted Milk Reported found in Australia!

The Australian Online newspaper reported on the 17th Sept that they have found melamine contamination in 69 brands of baby milk powder nationwide, including an Australian-China joint venture, Torador Dairy Industry, (one of the 22 companies reported with tainted product) located in northern Tianjian. http://article.wn.com/view/2008/09/16/Australian_venture_in_baby_milk_scandal/

Meanwhile, the MiamiHerald.com reported that the Chinese government is acknowledging that up to 10,000 babies could have consumed the tainted milk powder. http://www.miamiherald.com/business/international/story/687844.html

The circle of damage is certainly widening!

Made In China, Imported from Hell

Tainted milk in China claimed the 4th victim yesterday. As the government finally cracks down on the baby milk production companies, they have found nearly 70 milk products tainted from 20 companies. Out of 175 companies, at least 66 have been reported to have stop production. What is even more alarming is that their largest production company, Mengniu has also been tested positive while another large company found positive is Yili. Although most claimed that the tainted milk powder were marketed and distributed domestically, these companies are known to export their product to several other countries such as Taiwan, Yemen, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Chad, Burundi and even Hong Kong. I'm not sure whether any of the products were exported to Malaysia although I remembered reading it in the papers that one of the companies do. Our ministry has assured us that none of the tainted products were imported but then again, who do we trust anymore. In fact, what product and whose product should we trust now? The world is in a crisis. In fact, it was reported that Hong Kong has ordered for a recall when melamine was found in ice cream bar made by Shanghai Yili AB Foods. So, we are talking of a much wider impact as the test and search has expanded to include and indicate contamination of food other than milk powder.

If any of the exports did include the tainted milk powder, the impact and damage is going to be much more widespread and what we are seeing in China is probably the tip of an iceberg.

China has been outrageous and not new to all these scandals. This is the second reported scandal involving baby milk powder. It was reported in 2004 that 13 infants in eastern China's Anhui province died of nutritional deficiencies after being fed sub-standard milk powder and over 170 infants fell sick in what the Chinese press said involved pirated Sanlu products.

Melamine was also reported to have tainted pet food in US (again reportedly imported from China) in 2007 resulting in a high number of death among cats and dogs. The investigation conducted raise the alarm of the possibility of melamine contamination not only in pet feed but also all animal feed as well as the human food supply. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_protein_export_contamination.

So, what do we buy from China? Or rather, what do we dare to buy from China anymore? If you pick up a can of luncheon meat with the Made from China label despite being 50% cheaper as compared to other imported brands, do you buy? If we don't buy, and opt for the imported brands, they are so much more expensive and burn an even bigger hole in our home budget deficit. So, what can we do?

For me, we will stick with home manufactured good old breast milk as much as we possibly can for Ryan. And we will try cooking more vegetables and rely less on canned and preserved food for now.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Nothing good comes out from China!!

6244 babies sick and 3 died from tainted milk powder in China!! How outrageous! I just can't imagine the length that some people will go just to earn an extra dollar. Just because for the extra profit, many more innocent young lives are now on the line. Looking at the pictures of these pitiful faces, my heart aches and cried out for justice. I do not even want to begin to think what if the child laying in the hospital undergoing emergency treatment is mine. I can truly feel what the parents must be feeling....anxiety, fear, pain and above all anger.

China again hogs international limelight. I'm watching astro even as I typed this post, and they are showing videos of the number of parents with their babies packing hospitals seeking treatment. It seemed that nothing good and honest will ever come out from China. To mask their watered-down milk to make it appear higher in protein, these heartless `businessmen' added melamine, a banned chemical used in plastics. It was reported that infants who have consumed these tainted milk powder between 3 to 6 months have developed acute kidney failure. More news here : http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/as_china_baby_formula_recall;_ylt=ArmdX5PhKCkBc1wiCwB.zmuaK8MA
My search on melamine and what it is used for is shocking. Melamine is apparently invented in 1830's. Composed of nitrogen, hydrogen and carbon, melamine is a material used to make plastics and laminates. When combined with formaldehyde and at extreme heat, melamine will form a moldable material that once cooled off, will hardened and is virtually UNBREAKABLE and is dishwasher safe. Although not toxic to the body, it will quickly creates kidney stones and renal failure once consumed. I shivered at the thought of these foreign materials being consumed on a daily basis by babies whose fragile and tiny bodies are yearning for nutrient to grow.
I pray that the poor affected babies will recover and that the affected parents will be given strength to go throught this very difficult times. I pray that the culprits be bought to justice. For now, I don't think I will place too much trust in anything made in China (not that I have all these years).

Friday, September 12, 2008

Watch him grow..PRICELESS!!!

I was sick with a very serious throat infection since last Friday. The fever drained me of so much energy that I was literally sleeping almost 20 hours a day for the first 2 to 3 days. The fever, the blocked nose, the sore throat, the body aches were unbearable....but what is more unbearable is that the fact that I have to distance myself from Ryan and minimize my contacts with him over the last one week. He was infected with a flu when he was only 2 months old and the poor boy was so miserable. His nose was blocked and he throat was sore. He would coughed and coughed and coughed and round it up with his typical frown and a sigh! It's so painful and pitiful to see him going through that. He is a tough boy. He didn't cry excessively, but we did in our hearts. Now that I'm better, I'm so surprised to see him grow so much! He has definitely grown a little longer. His neck is so strong now that he can literally support himself and he loves every minute of it. He is so chatty nowadays that he wants to chat and play even well past 1 in the morning! AND he LOVES CARTOON! How I missed him the last one week and seeing him grow and develop. Seeing him grow is such an adventure. I don't think I can imagine myself being away from him for more than a couple of days. Maybe it's because I'm getting older or maybe it's because I didn't take the opportunity with my two elder children from my first marriage. Family becomes more important to me now as compared when i was much younger. I have my regrets of not really being there to watch my elder son and daughter grow and those years missed shall never return. And for that, I don't intend to make the same mistake with Ryan. If you are a father reading this, I hope that you too will take some time off to watch them grow. It's priceless!!!!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

A bit of an `Uncle' Everyday

Ran out of milk powder the other day. Wow! It was like yesterday that we bought that tin. He is on breast milk mostly at night and will only take milk powder when he is with his nanny or when we go out. Can't imagine what if he is fully on milk powder. Anyway, it is time again to go shopping and the prices of baby formula is exorbitant! He is on Enfalac A+ now. I was checking every hyper mart, medical hall, pharmacy or superstore that I was at and mentally taking note of the price and trying hard to compare to the last price checked. I found that the price for a tin of 900g Enfalac A+ varies from RM58.90 to as high as RM69 at different outlets! Can you imagine spending an additional RM10 per tin if I had not checked or compared the prices! I bought 3 tins immediately at RM58.90 at the Pasaraya MegaHerbs and Food Sdn Bhd located at Taman Megah,Petaling Jaya. (..and I did check the expiry date and it's 2010)
And suddenly it dawns on me that I am becoming more careful when it comes to spending, or, many would probably said that I'm becoming more `Uncle' or `Auntie'. I guess unconsciously, the amount of money that we have spent on Ryan and are still spending has made us more prudent. It's definitely financially heavy to bring up a baby especially with today's escalating cost and expenses. I am not sure how much we have already spend on him but i am certain that it's going to cost A LOT MORE! Emmm....maybe I'll compile a list of items that we have spent preparing for his arrival and his daily expenses now...I guess many would be parents or young couples might put off the idea of starting a family once they look at that list! Hehe.....
For those who are already expecting, congratulations and too bad...there is no turning back. Just got to be more `Auntie' or `Uncle' like me and march on. Watch out for the hot deals that I'll try to update this blog from time to time, and share with the rest of us if you have a better deal somewhere. I'm sure all of us here (me definitely) will be grateful.......:)
More Pictures on Jeju Island Coming up NEXT!