The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Tuesday it would look for melamine contamination in imported wheat gluten, corn gluten, corn meal, soy protein, rice bran and rice protein, used in manufactured food for humans and livestock.
Since melamine has already been found in wheat gluten and rice protein in the US (imported from China), and in corn gluten in South Africa (also imported from China) , I'm guessing they have a good reason to suspect corn meal, soy protein and rice bran.
The FDA said thousands of U.S. hogs might be affected by its investigation of livestock feed contaminated with the chemical melamine, which used in plastics and fertilizer.
Melamine has been found in wheat gluten and rice protein imported from China that was used in some U.S. pet foods and feed.
"We're going to target firms that we know are receiving imported products," said David Acheson, chief medical officer of the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. "The goal is obviously to sample as much as we can."
Melamine has been found in wheat gluten used in pet foods. Menu Foods, Procter & Gamble Co., Colgate-Palmolive Co., Nestle SA and Del Monte Foods Co. have recalled pet products made with the gluten.Rice protein tainted with melamine was also found in pet foods from at least five manufacturers who obtained the protein from one supplier, U.S. officials have said. It also made its way into feed used at a California hog farm.
On Monday, two U.S. lawmakers said a second company likely imported rice protein from China that was contaminated with a chemical linked to a major pet food recall.
"The initial focus is on imports, not domestically-produced (proteins)," Acheson told reporters. "In terms of countries of origin, we're really interested in protein concentrates that were manufactured in China."
The agency said on a call with reporters late on Tuesday that it had no intention of banning imports of wheat gluten, rice protein or similar proteins from China.
Why the (bleep)
"We believe the safety net is in place to make sure that no additional products are going to get into the commerce of the United States," said David Elder, director of FDA's enforcement office.
You're joking, right?
The FDA said contaminated feed was sent to hog farms in North and South Carolina, California, New York, Utah and possibly Ohio.
The FDA is working with the U.S. Agriculture Department to investigate the now-quarantined farms and whether any of the hogs on those farms were slaughtered for human food, the agency said.
"I don't have the numbers on that right now, but it potentially affects thousands of hogs," said Stephen Sundlof, director of the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine. "Some of the hog operations were fairly sizable."