Chinese Companies May Have Intentionally Added Poisonous Melamine to Wheat and Corn Gluten, Rice Protein
I cannot express my complete outrage that we actually now know the source of the mass poisoning of animals (and perhaps humans) and yet we still are allowing food to enter this continent from this rogue nation! The Chinese government has demonstrated time and time again their complete sociopathic disregard for the lives of humans or animals. Is it not madness to allow their food products to enter our food chains?
Thansk to USA Today for this article.
Melamine in pet food may not be accidental
By Elizabeth Weise and Julie Schmit, USA TODAY
A nitrogen-rich chemical used to make plastic and sometimes as a fertilizer may have been deliberately added to an ingredient in pet food that has sickened and killed cats and dogs across the country, public and private officials say. A leading theory is that it was added to fake higher protein levels.
Melamine has been found in wheat gluten, rice protein concentrate and, in South Africa, corn gluten, all imported from China, and all meant for use in pet food, the Food and Drug Administration confirmed Thursday.
"It adds to the theory when you see other products that are labeled as protein supplements, in this case rice protein, and in South Africa corn gluten and in the previous case wheat gluten," said Stephen Sundlof, FDA chief veterinarian. "That melamine was found in all three of those, it would certainly lend credibility to the theory that this was intentional."
How the melamine got there is "not something we're going to be able to determine until we actually investigate the plants in China," he said.
The FDA has not yet been able to get letters of invitation from the Chinese government that would allow its inspectors to enter the country, he said.
In a letter on ChemNutra's website, Chief Executive Steve Miller said, "We are concerned that we may have been the victim of deliberate and mercenary contamination for the purpose of making the wheat gluten we purchased appear to have a higher protein content than it did."
Melamine is "simply not a chemical even on the radar screen for food ingredient suppliers," he wrote.
But it does have a lot of nitrogen in it, says Ron Madl, director of Kansas State University's Bioprocessing and Industrial Value Added program. The most common way to test protein levels in the grain industry is to test for nitrogen, a major component of protein.
Adding melamine, with its high amount of nitrogen, to wheat gluten would give the illusion of a higher protein content, Madl said.
On Wednesday, San Francisco-based Wilbur-Ellis recalled all of its rice protein concentrate, imported from China, after FDA tests found melamine in it.
The Blue Buffalo Co. on Thursday recalled some of its Spa Select Kitten dry food because it contained rice protein concentrate from Wilbur-Ellis.
Wilbur-Ellis says five pet-food makers got the concentrate. More recalls are possible, the FDA said Thursday. Natural Balance Pet Foods said it had found melamine in two of its venison-based products, and so it did a recall. Its food was made by Diamond Pet Foods, which got the concentrate from Wilbur-Ellis.
The FDA said Thursday it is inspecting all incoming shipments of rice protein concentrate and wheat gluten from China.
Press reports out of South Africa say tests have confirmed that some Royal Canin pet food made there contained corn gluten imported from China that had melamine in it.
Sundlof said the FDA has no information that any of that corn gluten went to U.S. pet-food makers.