We didn’t really want to think about where that tainted pet food was going did we? Now we don’t have a choice.
Let’s do a quick recap on what it means to be at the top of the food chain (that’s us). It means that if you eat something made from another animal, you are often also consuming what THEY ate, especially if that something is not normally ingested and passed through the system. I think its pretty safe to say that melamine and other weird chemicals aren’t naturally passed through. The result is that WE get it too!
I’ve been saying this for a while that somehow the pet parents would get tainted food too and now we know how. This is NOT something I want to share with my furbabies!
Thank you corporate agribusiness for bringing us this new disaster! You’re now asking youreself, “why is she blaming corporate agribusiness?” Because family farmers are not usually stupid enough to feed known TAINTED food to their animals. Family farms can be big (check out some of the massive family dairies) but the owners CARE about what goes into their animals. They make the connection between poison in (the food) and poisonous product (milk, meat, whatever) out the other side.
Corporate farms, on the other hand are run by people looking at the bottom line (Gosh, didn’t we just see this with Menu Pet managers and suppliers?). The further away from the animals or crops, the less responsibility anyone feels for the ultimate product.
Its an old thought in management theory to reward people for what you want them to do. Corporate farms rewards their managers for making lots of money for the corporation and forget the harm caused if it can be swept under someone else’s rug. Family farmers feel pride in what they produce and how they care for their farms. Make money, sure, they have to and should make lots of money if they’re feeding the rest of us safe food.
What does this mean for the rest of us who are getting to the point of eating and feeding our dogs dandelions from the yard simply because that’s just about the ONLY things we know don’t have wierd chemicals on them (I don’t use any chemicals on the yard before someone asks)? I don’t know. I use to think people who played Russian Roulette were crazy. Now I feel like every time I feed my pack or myself I’m playing Russian Roulette.
Thanks to Boston.com for this article.
Investigators: Tainted pet food fed to hogs
By Diedtra Henderson, Globe Staff | April 20, 2007
WASHINGTON Hogs fed pet food rejected as unsuitable for sale ended up eating a product laced with an industrial chemical, federal authorities said yesterday, expanding a food safety investigation that had been primarily focused on cats and dogs.
It remains unclear, however, whether products made from the hogs will be considered safe for human consumption.
Stephen F. Sundlof, director of the Food and Drug Administrations Center for Veterinary Medicine, said the FDA will work with the United States Department of Agriculture to determine whether or not those animals can go into the food supply. Thats a process that is still ongoing. We should know the answer to that in a short period of time.
At least two US companies imported protein-based ingredients from Chinese suppliers that were tainted with melamine, a chemical used to make fertilizers and plastics. Since mid-March, manufacturers have pulled more than 100 brands of pet food from store shelves in a recall that this week grew to include rice protein concentrate imported from China that also was tainted with melamine.
Meanwhile, the Chinese government continues to block federal investigators from visiting the country to confirm the source of melamine.
Even though reporters were able to quickly travel to China and determine that at least one supplier there openly shopped for melamine to artificially boost the protein content of its wheat gluten, FDA investigators still lack visas needed to inspect Chinese plants.
In addition to wheat gluten and rice-protein concentrate that the FDA confirmed contained melamine, the agency has been alerted to a third protein-based ingredient corn gluten that also included melamine and was shipped from China to South Africa. For now, there is no indication the corn gluten was sent to the United States, Sundlof said.
The current theory is that Chinese suppliers intentionally added melamine to ingredients that were low in protein to ensure they would test high enough to allow them to be labeled as protein supplements and command the prices of wheat gluten, rice-protein concentrate, or corn gluten.
It adds to the theory when you see other products that are labeled as protein supplements, he said. That melamine was found in all three of those, it would certainly lend credibility to the theory that this was intentional.
Members of Congress, pointing to $2.1 billion in agricultural products American companies imported last year from Chinese suppliers, are pressuring the Chinese government to cooperate with the FDA.
We strongly urge the Chinese government to quickly issue visas to US inspectors, wrote Rosa L. DeLauro, Democrat of Connecticut, and Senator Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois. Clearly, this is an important trading relationship.
In the meantime, the FDA said it has begun to more closely scrutinize rice protein concentrate and other imported pet food ingredients, which it declined to name.
But confusion persists for consumers as incremental recalls continue.
After a single bag of rice-protein concentrate imported by Wilbur-Ellis Co. tested positive for melamine, the San Francisco company said it quarantined the entire shipment. Since July, Wilbur-Ellis purchased 740,753 pounds of the rice protein concentrate from Binzhou Futian Biology Technology Co. It shipped 341,716 pounds to five pet food manufacturers in Kansas, Missouri, New York, and Utah.