Despite a health scare in which tens of thousands of Chinese babies have fallen ill due to melamine in their formula, the Food and Drug Administration has said that products containing small amounts of the chemical are not dangerous for adults.
The FDA explained that its safety experts believe that people who consume a very low amount of melamine, calculated as 2.5 parts per million, would not suffer health problems.
However, the agency concluded that no amount of the chemical could be considered safe in infant formula, because there is not enough information on how children are affected by exposure.
According to the FDA, its safety assessment is aimed at situations in which melamine is accidentally incorporated into food, rather than deliberate attempts to add it.
"If products are adulterated because they contain melamine, (authorities) will take appropriate actions to prevent the products from entering commerce," the agency stated.
In September, a worldwide health alert broke out after it emerged that Chinese children were getting sick from melamine that had been deliberately added to dairy products to boost protein levels.