The Bureau of Environmental Health has directed two wholesalers and 10 retail outlets on Saipan to remove White Rabbit candies from their shelves after the manufacturer recalled the candy because it contained melamine.
The recall is the latest development in the melamine scandal that has killed several babies in China and sickened thousands.
Melamine is an organic base chemical most commonly found in the form of white crystals rich in nitrogen. It is widely used in plastics, adhesives, countertops, dishware and whiteboards.
BEH has visited and inspected more than 70 stores on Saipan, Tinian and Rota to screen Chinese imports. Inspectors have confirmed that milk powder found in “Mr. Brown 3-in-1” instant coffee has not been imported to the CNMI. Health officials in Guam recalled the coffee last week after traces of melamine were found in the product.
The White Rabbit candies found to contain melamine were distributed to the states of California, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Texas and Washington.
Chinese baby formula tainted with melamine has been blamed for the deaths of four infants and the illness of 53,000 others in China. Health experts say ingesting a small amount of the chemical poses no danger, but melamine can cause kidney stones and lead to kidney failure. Infants are particularly vulnerable.