Pet Food Recall...Infected Fish Farms....
Fri May 11, 2007 12:17

Impact widens

The FDA launched a large-scale investigation into the shipments of tainted pet food from China upon determining that melamine was used to artificially boost the measurable level of protein -- and therefore the price of the imports. The investigation began at two pet food factories but has since involved other factories and led to the recall of more than 100 brands of dog and cat food.

Some surplus food also was used as hog and chicken feed, and the FDA and USDA have been examining poultry and hog farms in 10 states.

Authorities identified 6,000 hogs that were given the feed, and the hogs will now be destroyed. California officials said about 45 people there consumed pork from pigs that were given the tainted feed.

About 20 million chickens that consumed melamine-tainted feed have already been slaughtered and sold in stores.

Acheson said that there have been no reports of human illnesses linked to the consumption of the pork and poultry.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the head of one of the suspect Chinese factories ordered his own plant demolished days before U.S. investigators arrived. He was later arrested by Chinese authorities.

In another food problem concerning China, Mississippi and Alabama have halted sales of Chinese catfish after discovering the banned antibiotics ciprofloxacin and enrofloxacin.

China Detains Two In Pet Food Recall
WXii, NC - 44 minutes ago
There are not many details yet, but China has detained managers from two companies linked to contaminated pet food that killed dogs and cats in the United ...

Recall probe adds fish
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, PA - May 8, 2007
US farmed fish ate feed tainted with industrial chemicals, further expanding an investigation that began with pet foods and exploded into the human food ...

U.S. farmed fish ate feed tainted with industrial chemicals, further expanding an investigation that began with pet foods and exploded into the human food chain, federal authorities announced Tuesday.

An unknown number of fish join 23 million chickens and 56,000 hogs nationwide -- including another 50,000 on hold in Illinois announced yesterday -- that ate contaminated feed. Federal officials believe the health risk to humans who eat those animals is extremely low, although pet food contaminated with higher concentrations of the same chemicals killed some pets.

Saying their investigation into aquaculture facilities is just beginning, federal officials would not say how many fish farms are being checked, in which states they are located, how many fish potentially ate the contaminated feed or what types of fish are involved.

The places under investigation supply fish to the human food market and to stock lakes, they said.

Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture inspectors, who are backing up the federal investigation, yesterday visited feed mills and took samples for testing and records to review, said spokesman Christopher Ryder. The feed will be tested by the FDA to determine if it is tainted, but no farms in this state have been quarantined, he said.

In a surprising development, the tainted ingredients also were mislabeled by Chinese firms, which claimed the products were wheat gluten or rice protein concentrate but actually were wheat flour, said Dr. David Acheson, the FDA's assistant commissioner for food protection.

"This has been changing constantly," Acheson said of the investigation that began with contaminated pet food on March 16. "I realize that this is just the perfect storm for total confusion."

The only enforcement action the FDA can take against Chinese companies is to impose import controls to prevent contaminated or mislabeled products from entering this country, said spokeswoman Julie Zawisza.

Thousands of pets fell ill or died of kidney problems after eating food tainted with four chemicals: melamine, which is used in plastics; cyanuric acid, a pool chlorinator, and their by-products, ammelide and ammeline. (Researchers previously released misspellings of the by-products, which suggested they were different chemicals.) Those contaminants were found in the urine, kidneys and tissues of infected animals.

Karen Roebuck can be reached at  or (412) 320-7939.

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