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Discussion Starter #1
FDA says probing "thousands" of hogs for tainted feed
Tue Apr 24, 2007 4:55PM EDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Tuesday that "thousands" of U.S. hogs might be affected by the agency's investigation of livestock feed contaminated with melamine.

"I don't have the numbers on that right now but it potentially affects thousands of hogs," Stephen Sundlof, director of the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine, told reporters. "Some of the hog operations were fairly sizable."

Livestock feed that may have been contaminated with ingredients imported from China was sent to hog farms in North and South Carolina, California, New York, Utah and "possibly" Ohio, he said. ... 8020070424

Discussion Starter #2
N.C. hogs got food tainted with melamine
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Hogs at a western North Carolina farm have tested positive for melamine, the industrial chemical blamed for killing and sickening dogs and cats that ate it in their food.

North Carolina Department of Agriculture officials said that none of the hogs that ate the tainted food have entered the food chain for human consumption. The department has quarantined the farm, which has about 1,400 hogs, until it the U.S. Food and Drug Administration can advise what to do next.

The department declined to release the name of the farm. It said no other farms are believed to have been affected.
"The system worked and these animals were intercepted before they were allowed to leave the farm," said Mary Ann McBride, assistant state veterinarian for the department. "We want people to know the food is very much safe."

In California, officials have quarantined 1,500 animals at the American Hog Farm in Ceres, Calif., where hogs are also believed to have eaten tainted food.

North Carolina investigators are attempting to determine whether the melamine was absorbed into the meat of the pigs and whether it would eventually be safe to eat.

N.C. officials said the pigs' food came from a proccessing plant in South Carolina. That food contained a rice protein concentrate from San Francisco-based Wilbur-Ellis Co., one of three pet food makers that recalled products last week that were tainted with rice protein concentrate imported from China.

An earlier Menu Foods recall affecting more than 100 brands of cat and dog food involved food with tainted with wheat gluten imported from China.
North Carolina Department of Agriculture officials stated:

no other farms are believed to have been affected.

Now the FDA is stating:

Livestock feed that may have been contaminated with ingredients imported from China was sent to hog farms in North and South Carolina, California, New York, Utah and "possibly" Ohio

Who trusts these obviously wrong reassuring statements anymore? If they don't know, they should not attempt to reassure...all credibility is lost.

Discussion Starter #3
So South Africa urged that all contaminated pet food be returned so it could be incinerated and not contaminate the environment or other animals....and here in the US not only were we never advised to not just throw out the tainted food but it is likely that our wonderful dog food companies SOLD the contaminated dog food to hog farms so it could enter our food chain :roll:

Warning over dumping of contaminated pet food

Johannesburg, South Africa

20 April 2007 12:44

Pet owners must not dump food they fear may be contaminated with melamine because it might cause environmental damage or poison animals and people.

The South African Veterinary Association (Sava) issued this warning on Friday and urged pet owners to return all possibly contaminated food to their vets.

So far, 30 animals have died after a batch of food produced by the company Royal Canin (RC) was contaminated with melamine.

"Owners must return all possibly contaminated food to their vets so that RC can incinerate it," said association spokesperson Gerhardt Steenkamp.

"Dumping it in the refuse bin could expose the environment to the toxin, which could lead to human or animal exposure."

Steenkamp said Sava was particularly concerned about exposed dogs that had not been seriously ill and would strongly advise owners to have their pets examined by their veterinarian.

He said Sava had asked the Pet Food Institute (PFI) to require its members, who may have used the contaminated corn gluten, or other suspect contaminated material, regardless of the presumed level of melamine, to immediately recall the products.

These should only be made available for sale once the presence of melamine had been eliminated by independent testing, said Steenkamp.

"Failing this, Sava will make the manufacturer or brand known to its members, so they can advise the public on food that may not be safe."

He said Sava had now declared melamine an officially recognised toxin, capable of inducing serious clinical disease, and would insist that all pet food be tested.

"In this regard, Sava will advise its members that they should only offer products that have been certified free from Melamine for sale in their practices.

"This advice will, equally, apply to ethylene glycol, as an extra safety measure, even though this toxin was not involved in the RC crisis." -- Sapa
Thanks to Gail for this tip: Many consumers are wondering what will happen to all the millions of bags, pouches and cans of recalled dog and cat food. Gail pointed us to a somewhat buried sentence in an earlier news report about the California hogs which were fed melamine-laced feed:
The contaminated feed was bought April 3 and 13 as salvage pet food from Diamond Pet Foods Inc., which received contaminated rice protein concentrate used in some recalled Natural Balance pet food

The FDA allows the sale of salvage and distressed pet food to be sold as animal feed--the only restriction being that it cannot be fed to ruminants (cattle, sheep). This Pet Food Institute brochure defines salvage and distressed foods as follows:
Salvaged food is defined as product that is still under control of the original manufacturer and will not be offered for sale at retail. Examples include start-up and over-run product, unpelleted pet food, pet food fines, and other products not suitable for packaging for retail sale.
Distressed pet food is defined as product in distribution or at retail that is no longer available for retail sale. Examples include product in dented cans, torn bags, or product that is past its sell-by date. These products are also referred to in distribution channels as "unsalables".

Considering the broadness of the above definitions, it forces one to wonder if "unsalables" or "other products not suitable for packaging for retail sale" could also include recalled pet foods. And even if it doesn't, does not such a practice present a big gaping hole through which the human food chain could be easily contaminated? This is yet another reason why everyone, not just pet guardians, should be concerned about the current pet food scandal. The FDA's allowance and laxity regarding the sale of salvage and distressed pet foods for use as non-ruminant livestock feed exemplifies the direct connection between our pets' food and the human food supply.
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