Tuesday, May 1, 2007

FDA/USDA: Soylent Green Is People; Risk To Humans "Very Low"

I expected to see this story (the new FDA numbers and the import holds) all over the news this morning, and didn't. So instead, here's another heart-stopping post from David Goldstein...

(Note: If you're not familiar with the movie Soylent Green, click on the first link before you read the rest. And no, this is not a real press release.)

Once again, the FDA downplays the ever expanding food safety crisis:

April 30, 2007

Joint Update: FDA/USDA Update on Tainted Soylent Green

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continue their investigation of Soylent Green, which has been found to contain people and people-related compounds.

Based on information currently available, FDA and USDA believe the likelihood of illness after eating Soylent Green would be very low. The agencies are taking certain actions out of an abundance of caution. As announced on April 26, Soylent Green known to have been adulterated (ie, contaminated with adults) will not be approved to enter the food supply.

As reported on April 22 by FDA, the Agency determined that plankton protein concentrate imported from China was contaminated with people and people-related compounds. As part of the ongoing investigation, FDA has determined the plankton protein was used in the production of Soylent Green.

At this time, we have no evidence of harm to humans associated with the Soylent Green, and therefore no recall of the product is being issued. Testing and the joint investigation continue. If any evidence surfaces to indicate there is harm to humans, the appropriate action will be taken.

The assessment that, if there were to be harm to human health, it would be very low, is based on a number of factors, including the dilution of the contaminating people and people-related compounds from the original plankton protein concentrate as it moves through the food system. First, people are only a partial ingredient in plankton protein concentrate; second, plankton protein concentrate is only a partial ingredient in Soylent Green; third, even if people are present in Soylent Green, Soylent Green is only a small part of the average American diet, which typically also includes Soylent Yellow and Soylent Red. In addition to the dilutional factor, neither FDA nor USDA are aware of any human illness that has occurred from exposure to people or its by-products. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention systems have limited ability to detect subtle problems due to ingestion of people and people-related compounds, the public should rest assured that no problems have been detected to date. To further evaluate any potential harm to humans, the FDA is developing and implementing further tests and risk assessments based on the toxicity of people, and how much people people could be expected to actually consume.

USDA and FDA continue to conduct a full, comprehensive examination to protect the nation's food supply and will provide updates as new information is confirmed.


And if you think that's absurd, just read this.

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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