My sis sent out an email cautioning parents about halloween candy. The melamine scare has everyone understandably all antsy-in-the-pantsy. I tried to figure out how much is hype and how much is for reals.
this site: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1077775/is_chocolate_halloween_candy_dangerous.html ) describes a press release sent Sept 26th saying there had not been any melamine in tested chocolates. (cut and pasted: they have not yet detected any melamine in their testing of milk-containing products imported from China, nor have any melamine related illnesses been reported within the USA. To date, all FDA announced recalls and withdrawals of melamine tainted products within the USA have come from testing results in other countries. Testing here and abroad is expected to continue, and the FDA is advising consumers to avoid purchasing infant formulas produced in China.)
General info about melamine from time: http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1841757,00.html
and from wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melamine
More info, with specifics about Halloween candy: http://www.courant.com/news/health/hc-webmelamine.artoct22,0,2895398.story
most current article i could find: http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5g_ZGr2pd7hrVTs-w8Lqx_DDuAd7g
Melamine is not toxic exactly, but can cause renal (kidney) stones and kidney failure, which can be deadly. It's not a bad idea to keep in mind the symptoms of kidney stones. They don't always have symptoms, but a symptomatic stone involves a sudden onset of excruciating, cramping pain in the abdomen that can radiate to the lower back or groin. Changes in body position do not relieve this pain. The pain typically waxes and wanes in severity, kind of a colicky pain. The pain can be so bad that it sends the person into nausea and vomiting. There can be blood in the urine.
Kidney failure symptoms include generalized swelling, swelling in the legs, and decreased urine output. Folks with renal failure generally get tired easily or are tired constantly. Then there's also anemia, trouble focusing/remembering, metallic taste in the mouth.
These symptoms can be related to other problems. PLEASE DO NOT TRY TO DIAGNOSE YOURSELF or your kids because you could misdiagnose and end up treating the wrong thing or exacerbating a different problem. If you or your loved ones have any of these symptoms, call your health care provider.