Friday, April 20, 2007

The Cat Is Out of the Bag

Sorry 'bout that one. But the truth about the poisoned pet food seems to be coming out, and letting my Cleocatra (for one) out of the bag. The kind of bag they're escaping is the one that is used in drowning, as I see it. The motivation for putting poisonous substances into gluten which was being produced by Chinese factories to add to pet food here in the U.S. was money. The more protein their additives tested for, the higher quality it was considered to be, and the more it cost.

Chinese manufacturers may have intentionally added a chemical linked to pet deaths and illnesses into a protein-powder ingredient in pet foods, federal regulators said Thursday.

Stephen Sundlof, chief veterinarian for the Food and Drug Administration, said melamine, which has turned up in more than 100 brands of cat and dog food, may have been used to falsely boost the apparent nutritional content of rice protein.

"That's still a theory but it certainly seems to be a plausible one," he said.

Melamine, an ingredient in plastics and fertilizers that could lead to kidney failure in animals, has contaminated rice protein and wheat gluten in pet foods made in Canada and the U.S.

The chemical compound reportedly also has tainted corn gluten added to pet food sold in South Africa, the FDA said.

FDA officials said they were investigating whether the melamine might have been added intentionally as a way to charge more for an inferior product. The fact that three protein sources from China contained melamine adds credibility to that theory, Sundlof said.

But the FDA added that it would not be able to check its theory without approval from the Chinese government to inspect the factories where the rice protein and wheat gluten were produced. The FDA said it "fully expects" to get such cooperation.

The Chinese government has said that the contaminated wheat gluten was not meant for pet foods and therefore was not its regulatory responsibility.

The FDA said it had traced the contaminated wheat gluten to Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development Co. in Jiangsu province, just north of Shanghai. The company's general manager, Mao Lijun, said this week that his firm was still investigating the matter. He declined to answer questions.

The FDA also said the North American manufacturers shared some responsibility for ensuring the safety of their pet foods.

"There is an industry responsibility to know who their suppliers are and to exercise some diligence," said Michael Rogers, head of the FDA's division of field investigations.

Pacoima-based Natural Balance Pet Foods, which this week voluntarily recalled four types of dog food containing rice protein, said it would be wary of using any Chinese-made ingredients.

"I can't imagine we'll be using Chinese ingredients again. If we do, clearly it will be with much scrutiny," said spokesman Daniel Bernstein.

Putting your pet at risk is not the only problem here. As Chicago Dyke pointed out this morning, With a little research, I’m pretty sure an enterprising investigator could turn this lede into the story of the century. How many sick American children are there, because of our utterly fucked up corporate system of distributing food resources? Moms, are you worried yet? Wheat, rice, corn…what’s next?

Your food isn't safe, as we already learned from the spinach and green onion episodes. If it's being nutritionally boosted with additives of mysterious origin and nature, we need to know about it. And as I have posted previously, the Department of Agriculture is cutting back its safety programs while boosting salaries for top executives.

Labels: , ,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Four words: Pancreatic and renal failure.

the primary end-stage symptoms of type II diabetes.

What if high-fructose corn syrup is a culprit, due to adulteration? What if modified protein or starch were adulterated? I wonder if kidney biopsies performed on transplant candidates would yield long-term melamine contamination?

11:02 PM  
Blogger Ruth said...

The failure of the present WH cabal to protect the public may have more long term effects than we have realized.

10:36 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home