Friday, May 04, 2007

Pet food recall expansion sparks FDA action

From the AP via the Houston Chronicle:

Government inspectors are checking food makers who use protein concentrates to make sure none of the contaminated products found in pet food have reached other products, the Food and Drug Administration said today.

There is no evidence that any of the two contaminated batches of wheat gluten and rice protein from China ended up as an ingredient in human food, "but it's prudent to look," said Dr. David Acheson, assistant FDA commissioner for food protection.


The announcement came as pet food manufacturer Menu Foods expanded its recall because of possible cross-contamination between melamine-tainted products and other foods made in the same period.

More here.

Christ! How much bigger is this melamine thing going to get? I'm less nervous about my cats now, if only because the recall has been going on for a month and a half and they continue to be healthy, but the way this seems to be lingering is pretty damned annoying. The contamination appears to be on a pretty massive scale, which makes utterly clear that the FDA provides very little oversight of imported food products, which makes a great deal of sense given the anti-regulation attitudes of the Republicans, who have run the FDA since Bush took office in 2001. I'd bet fifty bucks that this shit has made it into the human food supply here in the US.

And if the allegations about Chinese manufacturers spiking food exports with melamine to boost the apparent protein content are true, there's a good chance we've been ingesting this chemical for a long time. Low doses of the stuff are probably safe, but continued exposure just can't be good.

Does anybody really know what we're eating, anyway?