Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Tainted wheat gluten sold as “food grade”

From HorsesAss.org courtesy of Crooks and Liars:

Del Monte Foods has confirmed that the melamine-tainted wheat gluten used in several of its recalled pet food products was supplied as a “food grade” additive, raising the likelihood that contaminated wheat gluten might have entered the human food supply.

“Yes, it is food grade,” Del Monte spokesperson Melissa Murphy-Brown wrote in reply to an e-mail query. Del Monte issued a voluntary recall Saturday for several products under the Gravy Train, Jerky Treats, Pounce, Ol’ Roy, Dollar General and Happy Trails brands.

Wheat gluten is sold in both “food grade” and “feed grade” varieties. Either may be used in pet food, but only “food grade” gluten may be used in the manufacture of products meant for human consumption. Published reports have thus far focused on tainted pet food, but if the gluten in question entered the human food supply through a major food products supplier and processor, it could potentially contaminate thousands of products and hundreds of millions of units nationwide.

Click here for the rest.

Aw fuck, I'd switched over to 9 Lives canned cat food because Del Monte didn't seem to be part of this wheat gluten scare. I just bought eight more cans earlier this evening. Is the whole pet food industry going down because of this? I'm really too nervous about my two cats, Frankie and Sammy, to be as pissed off about this as I ought to be. I mean, this is totally outrageous, an example of both a lax federal regulatory environment and globalization run amok--the regulations and enforcement that we do have is apparently not enough, and who the hell knows what kind of oversight is going on in slave-friendly China? This is bad. Trust me, Hillary, like her husband a great friend of corporations, ain't gonna do much about this.

As if fewer jobs and benefits, lesser wages, and too many hours for those of us lucky enough to work wasn't bad enough, we also have to fear for our and our pets' lives. But then, that's par for the course. Usually, the straight-up people-killers are chemical plants and the like. I guess I'm just not used to caveat emptor coming into play with the food I eat.