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Mom_of_2_Cavies
6th April 2007, 09:03 PM
China probing tainted wheat gluten claim
By AUDRA ANG, Associated Press Writer
10 minutes ago

China said Friday it is investigating allegations a Chinese company exported tainted wheat gluten used in pet food that has been linked to the deaths of more than a dozen cats and dogs in the United States.

It was the first time Chinese authorities officially responded to the uproar that has resulted in a ban on gluten imports from the Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development Co. and a U.S. recall of nearly 100 brands of pet food.

"We are investigating this," Zeng Xing, an official with the press office of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, told The Associated Press.

Zeng, whose agency monitors the export of food, animals and farm products, refused to give any details of the probe other than to confirm China is looking into the claim that the exported wheat gluten contained melamine, a chemical found in plastics and pesticides.


But here's the real kicker in this story


Chemical scares and mass poisonings are common in China, which has been struggling to improve a dismal food-safety record. Manufacturers often mislabel food products or add illegal substances to them. Cooks routinely disregard hygiene rules or mistakenly use industrial chemicals instead of salt and other ingredients.

Here's a link to the rest of the article
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070406/ap_on_bi_ge/china_pet_food_recall&printer=1;_ylt=Ak2eApQzo7o2yOOxa0ygu31v24cA

Again, I want to know just why it is that we import ANYTHING related to food from China at this time?

Kodee
6th April 2007, 10:07 PM
Well your article really helped me make a choice. When a country has a record of such problems any manufacturer of any type of food that would bargain shop in that country knowingly..... looses my business. I am only buying products guaranteed made with U.S. (I'd say Canada but we dont do much of anything but complain :lol: ) ingredients and manufactured by themselves. Being that discriminating will even knock off rated 6 and 5 star dog products - but tough. My kibble fits the bill thanks to suit my needs! I'm sticking with it - plain taste and all Kodee.

Karlin
6th April 2007, 10:39 PM
Then you really don't want to know much about the mass food production systems in the US... :yikes:

Salmonella levels of meats like fresh chicken are very high in US and European abbatoir-prepared meats.

Numerous e. coli outbreaks occur every year, and this is a known problem in raw beef.

There are acceptable levels of insect parts and fecal matter allowed in food processing.

Check out:

http://media.www.dailyutahchronicle.com/media/storage/paper244/news/2006/11/22/Ae/Would.You.Like.Fecal.Matter.With.That-2506561.shtml

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16211682/

From some other articles:


ConAgra Foods recalled their Peter Pan Peanut Butter and some batches of Wal-Mart’s Great Value house brand of peanut butter. The reason: salmonella contamination, which probably came from post-processing contact with fecal matter.

And these words and phrases – contact with fecal matter, contamination from manure – are just nice, technical ways of saying that there’s cow crap in our food.

There hasn’t been much outrage in response to the string of food contaminations, and the Food and Drug Administration has cut the number of food safety inspections it conducts in half in the past three years.

“We have a food safety crisis on the horizon,” said Michael Doyle, director of the Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia, in an Associated Press story.


There’s been a lot of progress in making meats safer. Is produce the risk now rather than beef?
A. No. Beef is still a risk. No matter how good and careful you are, when you slaughter over 100 million cows a year, you’re going to have some contamination of the beef. We know that 1 percent of these cows are carrying E. Coli when they’re slaughtered. If people cook [the meat] properly there will never be a risk. But we can’t mandate that it must be cooked thoroughly. If people are going to eat hamburger, there will still be [risk] of food-borne disease. If we irradiated that hamburger at the time of preparation, we can greatly reduce the amount of disease that might occur because of occasional undercooking of it.

From an interview with Dr. Dennis Maki, professor of medicine and epidemiologist at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health

NB: This is why I have stopped feeding raw beef -- e coli could kill a dog, especially a pup.

Report from European Food Safety Authority:


EFSA has published a survey on the levels of Salmonella detected in broiler flocks (chickens reared for meat) across the European Union in 2005-6. Salmonella was estimated to be present in almost 1 in 4 flocks (23.7%) according to the survey which was compiled by EFSA’s Zoonoses Task Force[1] comprising expert representatives from EU Member States, Norway and Switzerland...hicken meat from broilers is linked to many food poisoning cases of Salmonella in Europe. According to national figures provided in EFSA’s 2005 zoonoses report[5], 0 to 18% of fresh (raw) chicken meat samples were contaminated with Salmonella. Salmonella was the second most reported cause of food-borne diseases in humans in Europe


Eighty-three percent of chicken sold in U.S. grocery stores may contain bacteria that cause foodborne illnesses, a consumer group said on Monday, 34 percentage points higher than the rate it found three years ago...Consumer Reports said tests on 525 chickens -- including samples from leading brands Perdue, Pilgrim's Pride Inc. and Tyson Foods Inc. -- showed most of the poultry had campylobacter or salmonella, two of the leading causes of food-borne diseases. A test conducted in 2003 showed 49 percent of the birds had at least one of the bacteria.

The study said the decline in chicken safety was tied largely to a surge in the campylobacter bacteria, which can be carried by birds without them becoming ill, but causes diarrhea in people.

About 81 percent of the chickens tested positive for the pathogen, up from 42 percent in 2003. Halloran said she could not determine what was responsible for the increase.

Salmonella, which causes diarrhea, headache and fever in most people, is one of the most frequently reported causes of food-borne illness in the United States. Consumer Reports estimated 15 percent of the chickens tested had salmonella, up 3 percent from the prior report.

(USDA denied levels were this high):

USDA's Cohen said 11.4 percent of 8,000 broiler samples through September of this year tested positive for salmonella, which if it held for the remainder of the year would be down from 16.3 percent in 2005.


I think generally, it can be very difficult to know where to buy food any longer, anywhere, and food scandals arise regularly everywhere, though I'd definitely rather be buying food where there are at least some attempts to enforce standards. Most places in the developed world have moved away from local suppliers with animals transported sometimes thousands of miles before they are slaughtered in mass-production facilities rather than local butchers.

I actually mostly eat fish from Irish waters these days (the Atlantic side, not the Sellafield side) when I have meat and try to buy mostly organic producef rom local producers -- something my parents started doing when possible four decades ago because my dad (prof of internal medicine) suspected links to rising levels of respiratory disease, asthma and other illness especially in children that mirrored vast increases in chemical additives and pesticide use.

Not always easy though to try and stay away from processed foods! With the dogs, I do like opting as much as I can for home-cooked meals as I know what is going in and know the production process.

natalieandmike
6th April 2007, 10:53 PM
Yep, Kodee, it's just as bad for humans, too.. read Fast Food Nation. I read it at Barnes and Noble and was both disgusted and horrified. At the same time, I couldn't put it down. Then again, I do believe in humoral immunity.. :badgrin: -Natalie

Mom_of_2_Cavies
6th April 2007, 11:16 PM
Yes, Karlin, we are having enough trouble these days, with an FDA that seems to be doing little to protect our domestic food (other than reacting to crises), without adding things into our food supply from places that are even more demonstrably unreliable.

Joanne M
6th April 2007, 11:39 PM
Pat I agree. Melamine is a plastic substance, but it also some how makes the wheat gluten's protein level rise. Last night, I was watching a story on CNN that suggests it is possible melamine was an intentional add-in as higher protein levels in the wheat gluten make it more marketable and ultimately meant more money for the seller.

Let's face it the more processing involved in any food, the less healthy it becomes. However, since wheat gluten seems to be the culprit in the tainted food, I'll not purchase anything that lists it as an ingredient. Tucker is loving all the home cooked meals he's getting :)

My mother who is an admitted awful cook, did one thing well, she cooked the heck out of everything she prepared, we dined on sawdust chicken and beef that was so tough it bounced, but I doubt any germs or bacteria survived!! Thank God for potatoes.

Mom_of_2_Cavies
7th April 2007, 01:04 AM
Joanne, I missed that CNN report. I may go to their website and see if I can find it. Good grief.


My mother who is an admitted awful cook, did one thing well, she cooked the heck out of everything she prepared, we dined on sawdust chicken and beef that was so tough it bounced, but I doubt any germs or bacteria survived!! Thank God for potatoes. :lol:

Joanne M
7th April 2007, 01:14 AM
It was a segment during the Anderson 360 hour, though not done by Anderson Cooper. The reporter may have been John Roberts, but I'm not sure.

Karlin
7th April 2007, 01:25 AM
Wheat gluten is a good ingredient to avoid anyway as I know has been mentioned in a lot of threads on this topic. The good thing is I think many people will pay a lot more attention to ingredients lists on their dog foods!

BTW speaking of foods... does anyone else only buy Hebrew National hot dogs in the US because of how strict kosher food processing standards are for this food item that famously can have scary things go into it? I love their slogan on the packs: "We answer to a higher authority". :lol: I sure wish we got them over here. Had them a few times out in the US recently -- my mother and I both love a good hot dog with mustard and relish.

Kodee
7th April 2007, 01:29 AM
Well Karlin we could all just stop eating and feeding our dogs!

I realize sticking to manufacturers using all U.S. products and facilitating production in their own plants does not guarantee anything - HOWEVER it does reduce likelyhood of forseeable problems. If China is having issues with quality control its like swimming in a bacterial pool. Higher risk than benefit. Now using a U.S. manufacturer may carry risk, but its known to have a lesser risk - you take the benefit where you can find it.

Vitamens for human use are not regulated - ever read the stories on the number of manufacturers that vitamens dont contain the listed % of ingredients and worse extras that arent supposed to be there, including lead? YET many of use do pop a multi vitamen and in my case due regulate health issues - a blinking lot of those unregulated little pills. I eat as much natural foods as I can (but dont forget about the farmers pesticides) but still need the added vitamens to combat particular illnesses.

My dog cannot go without kibble - well it can but then we are back to the debate over food that is homecooked and what do we have here - oh added manufacturered vitamens from those home cooked retailers - vitamens that ARENT REGULATED.

Such is life we cant loose sleep obsessing over it all too much, but we can educate ourselves and make informed decsions.

Remali
9th April 2007, 11:51 PM
I'll have to look for those hot dogs here, I hope we have them....I love hot dogs, but it scares me when you hear what is in most of them! :o

Cathy Moon
10th April 2007, 02:05 AM
BTW speaking of foods... does anyone else only buy Hebrew National hot dogs in the US because of how strict kosher food processing standards are for this food item that famously can have scary things go into it? I love their slogan on the packs: "We answer to a higher authority". :lol: I sure wish we got them over here. Had them a few times out in the US recently -- my mother and I both love a good hot dog with mustard and relish.
I love a hot dog with mustard, but have been avoiding them because of what I hear goes into them. Thanks for the info about Hebrew National!

Speaking of meat and poultry, my mother and sister are both nurses and they've educated our family about all the bacteria - Yuck! I've been trained to clean surfaces with bleach when cooking.