Chinese Melamine Now Found in Corn Gluten Products Were Deliberately Spiked. Chinese Government Says Screw You
LA Times and NBC today:
Chinese manufacturers may have intentionally added a chemical linked to pet deaths and illnesses into a protein-powder ingredient in pet foods, federal regulators said Thursday.Stephen Sundlof, chief veterinarian for the Food and Drug Administration, said melamine, which has turned up in more than 100 brands of cat and dog food, may have been used to falsely boost the apparent nutritional content of rice protein.
Melamine, an ingredient in plastics and fertilizers that could lead to kidney failure in animals, has contaminated rice protein and wheat gluten in pet foods made in Canada and the U.S.The chemical compound reportedly also has tainted corn gluten added to pet food sold in South Africa, the FDA said.FDA officials said they were investigating whether the melamine might have been added intentionally as a way to charge more for an inferior product. The fact that three protein sources from China contained melamine adds credibility to that theory.
The Chinese government has said that the contaminated wheat gluten was not meant for pet foods and therefore was not its regulatory responsibility.
The FDA said the North American manufacturers shared some responsibility for ensuring the safety of their pet foods.
Pacoima-based Natural Balance Pet Foods, which this week voluntarily recalled four types of dog food containing rice protein, said it would be wary of using any Chinese-made ingredients."I can't imagine we'll be using Chinese ingredients again."
The FDA and Agriculture Department also were investigating whether some pet food made by one of the five companies supplied by Wilbur-Ellis was diverted for use as hog feed after it was found unsuitable for pet consumption.
"We understand it did make it into some hog feed and we are following up on that as well," Sundlof said.
Later Thursday, California officials said they believe the melamine at the quarantined hog farm came from rice protein concentrate imported from China by Diamond Pet Food's Lathrop facility, which produces products under the Natural Balance brand and sold salvage pet food to the farm for pig feed.
"Although all animals appear healthy, we are taking this action out of an abundance of caution," State Veterinarian Richard Breitmeyer said in a statement. "It is unknown if the chemical will be detected in meat."
(Comment: Royal Canin also recalls several of its general and prescription pet food lines. http://www.royalcanin.us:80/)