Update on Melamine in Pet Food
April 30, 2007 5:34pm CST
As fellow cat lovers, I am sure you are all aware of the recent problems in the US with contaminated pet food killing and making both cats and dogs ill. Here is a recent update on the situation. The US government says the contaminent is "Melamine", a coal byproduct that is used to make plastics and fertilizer. We have actually sent a team of food safety regulators to China to investigate this further and the problem is worse than we thought from what they have found so far. Melamine is deliberately placed in animal feed and soy, wheat, and rice proteins on a routine basis; because, it makes them test higher in protein than they really are. When tested for the percentage of protein, it creates a false reading and unsuspecting buyers feed it to their animals who do not get the necessary protein in their diet. The seller can then make a higher profit. China has no law against this type of "fraud". So, the US has banned all imports of wheat gluten to the US from China. However, they have found that melamine laced proteins are still being sold in China and exported to South Korea, North Korea, Indonesia, and Thailand; as well as some other Asian countries. Our pets are not the only animals affected by this contaminant. More than 6,000 hogs have had to be quarantined or slaughtered because this wheat gluten was shipped to farms in 8 different states as pig feed. Chinese officials dispute the fact that melamine is reponsible for our pets deaths and illness; but, bending to pressure they did place a ban on it's use in "vegetable proteins made for export or for use in domestic food supplies". But, they have issued no recall of any food or feed product in China. Obviously, this is still an issue and a hazard. China's food safety issues are far worse than most people are aware. Recent problems with food in China haveincluded "fake baby formulas and soy sauce made from human hair to instances where cuttlefish were soaked in calligraphy ink to improve their color and eels were fed contraceptive pills to make them grow long and slim". We can make the choice not to purchase food products from this country; but, we have no way to be sure that "ingrediants" in our own food and our pets are not coming from China. The only question is what will be next?