Tuesday, April 24, 2007

FDA to test Imported Corn Meal, Corn Gluten, Soy Protein and Rice Bran in addition to Rice Protein and Wheat Gluten for Melamine

WASHINGTON, April 24 (Reuters) -

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) not?!

"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."

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Volunteers Needed! Get food off shelves...

howl911.com, itchmo.com, thepetfoodlist.com, petconnection.com, petfoodtracker.com and spockosbrain.com have joined together to ask for your help.
Update 6-10: Recalled food was purchased from a
California store on 5-29th – this stuff is still out there!
We need Volunteers to help get recalled food off store shelves. Read this post at Spocko’s Brain for instructions. Print a list (or two) on this site. Visit stores, then report safe stores here at Itchmo.com.

Printing Information:
1. Print the main FDA Pet Food Recall page http://www.fda.gov/oc/opacom/hottopics/petfood.html – this will be handy to show retailers who haven’t heard anything about the recall. (3 pages)

2. Print the list of 14 Major National Brands - it includes flavors and date information where applicable so you can tell if specific products for these brands have been recalled. The brands are: Alpo Prime Cuts, Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul, Doctors Foster and Smith, Eukanuba, Gravy Train, Hill’s Science Diet, Iams, Jerky Treats, Lick Your Chops, Mighty Dog Pouches, Natural Balance, Nutro, Pounce, Royal Canin. (It’s 7 pages and includes FDA contact information.)

3. Print the List of All Brands – it will remind you what products have been recalled - but it does not give you date and flavor information, there is just too much to put in one document. (7 pages, but the 7th page is links to more detailed information so you don’t need to print it)

If you want, and are going to a store that you know has store brands that have been recalled (such as Walmart), go to that recall information at the links on the summary or at the FDA site and print it out. Some of the information is formatted in ways that make it difficult to read (one of the main reasons for this site), but it’s better than nothing.

Note: The FDA is the official source for all recall information and recalled products. This is an unofficial volunteer effort to help get the word out and get recalled foods off of shelves. We’re doing the best we can but can’t guarantee these lists are completely accurate. Again, here is the official recall site: http://www.fda.gov/oc/opacom/hottopics/petfood.html