For the first time, investigators are saying the chemical that has sickened and killed pets in the United States may have been intentionally added to pet food ingredients by Chinese producers.
Food and Drug Administration investigators say the Chinese companies may have spiked products with the chemical melamine so that they would appear, in tests, to have more value as protein products.
Officials now suspect this possibility because a second ingredient from China, rice protein concentrate, has tested positive for melamine. So has corn gluten shipped to South Africa. That means there is a possibility for another round of recalls.
The FDA’s top veterinarian, Stephen Sundlof, says finding melamine in so many products “would certainly lend credibility to the theory that it was maybe intentional.”
Melamine, which is used to make plastics in the United States and as a fertilizer in Asia, contains nitrogen. Nitrogen can appear to boost the level of protein in products.
The revelations have led the FDA to expand the number of products it is testing as they enter the United States. So far, those inspections at the border have not turned up any melamine in wheat gluten. Tainted wheat gluten used by Menu Foods is suspected in sickening hundreds, if not thousands of pets.
Some of the tainted pet food has apparently made it into feed for hogs. Federal agencies are trying to determine if it was actually fed to animals and whether it may have reached the human food supply.
Just another example of what unrestrained capitalism leads to. Anything goes, baby!
Does anyone have a link to the current list of contaminated wet/dry food? I don’t buy any bargain “brands,” but my cats have recently eaten Fancy Feast wet/dry and Deli Cat dry food. I want to make sure I don’t have to worry.
Yeah, you don’t want them getting alzheimers from the mercury when they’re 50.
I’ve switched my cats over to Happy Paws and Wellness, both of which contain no processed gluten. I may switch back to the Hill’s Prescription Diet after this blows over, though, because they were very proactive about determining whether any of their products contained gluten from that supplier and starting their own recall, and my vet phoned to tell me about it. They weren’t part of the original recall, so if not for that I would never have known.
On the other hand, buying food at the vet is a major hassle because they work the same hours I do.
Seconding the “don’t feed only tuna”, for the taurine reason Midnight Son mentions above. I switched to Innova Evo wet food (they were already on the dry food version) since it is a low-carb/no-carb cat food, which is pretty much how a cat’s natural diet should be. And of course, low/no carb means no wheat gluten.
A friend of mine from Singapore that was working in China brings all of her over-the-counter drugs with her from Singapore, even if they are western medicine like Aspirin etc. The fakers can copy everything, especially those stupid holographic stickers.
The Chinese themselves are affected by this problem (see the baby formula story in the OP), but they say that once they all get richer, they will push for more regulations on all of this stuff.
You should. Deng Xiaoping’s biggest project was paving the way for Chinese cities to be sneaker and keychain factories whoring for American dollars. Hu Jintao, the current prime minister, was one of Deng’s people and continues his policies.
Edit: Capitalism in China is still restrained in some ways, but not the ones that help prevent this kind of thing.