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Karlin
22nd April 2007, 06:29 PM
From the San Jose Mercury:


PET TOXIN FOUND IN PIGS FROM STANISLAUS COUNTY FARM
By Linda Goldston
Mercury News
Article Launched: 04/21/2007 01:34:26 AM PDT



State and federal officials warned the public Friday not to eat any pork
processed at the American Hog Farm in Stanislaus County since April 3 and
warned there may be contaminated pork products from other custom-slaughter
plants.

The warning came after officials traced animal feed tainted with melamine
to the hog farm. Melamine, an industrial chemical detected in wheat gluten
and rice protein imported from China, is the substance the U.S. Food and
Drug Administration has linked to the deaths and illnesses of cats and dogs
in the largest pet food recall in American history. The hog farm purchased
"salvage" pet food for its hogs from a company that said it was unaware of
the contamination when the feed was sold.

Officials admitted the risk of melamine to humans is unknown and said
their best assessment is that "the risk is minimal at this point, but the
investigation is very early on," said Dr. Kevin Reilly, deputy director for
prevention services at the California Department of Health Services.

One of approximately 40 state-licensed custom slaughter plants in the
state, American Hog Farm processes the animals for individual customers to
be used by them and their friends. State law requires that meat be stamped
"not for resale."

But American also sells animals to meat-processing plants and other hog
farms. At least one of its hogs made it to a meat-processing plant that has
wider distribution. Officials were reached at that plant - which was not
named Friday - before any of the meat was sold to the public.

Just under 100 animals were custom killed" at the American Hog Farm in
Ceres, Dr. Stephen F. Sundlof, director of the FDA's Center for Veterinary
Medicine, said Friday. "We are tracing animals that may have gone to other
plants."

Sundlof and others who spoke at a news conference in Sacramento on Friday
afternoon said the American Hog Farm was quarantined and samples taken for
testing as soon as the FDA notified state officials on Wednesday that
tainted salvage pet food had been sold to the company.

The results of those tests came back Thursday night and "all urine samples
and feed samples were positive for melamine," said Dr. Richard Breitmeyer,
state veterinarian.

None of the pigs that ate the tainted food suffered health problems from
it, officials said.

Officials hope to directly contact all customers who had hogs custom
slaughtered at the plant. They've already visited Diamond Pet Foods' plant
in Lathrop, which led them to the pig farm after Diamond sold some of its
pet food to American as hog feed.

Diamond, which purchased the tainted rice protein from a San Francisco
importer, Wilbur-Ellis Co., makes pet food for Natural Balance at its
Lathrop plant, according to the California Department of Food and
Agriculture. Earlier this week, Natural Balance recalled some of its pet
food products because of the contamination.

"We are investigating the importer in San Francisco and tracing forward
all products produced with the contaminated rice protein concentrate," Dr.
Sundlof said.

A statement released by Diamond Pet Foods on Friday said:

"The salvage product provided to American Hog Farm in Ceres, Calif., by
Diamond Pet Foods, was sold prior to Diamond Pet Foods being notified of the
contamination in rice protein concentrate. It is a common regulated practice
for animal food facilities to provide salvage product to farms with
non-ruminant animals." (Hogs are called non-ruminant because their digestive
tracts differ from those of ruminant livestock, such as cattle.)

Breitmeyer confirmed that the tainted pet food was sold to the hog farm
before Diamond was notified of the contaminated rice protein.

At least one pet food a week has been recalled since the investigation
into the contamination began about a month ago.

Friday, Royal Canin, one of the premier pet food companies, announced it
was recalling some of its dry dog and cat foods. For specific products, call
(800) 592-6687 or check the company Web site at www.royalcanin.us. A
spokesman said the company has received no reports about sick animals that
ate the food.

Joanne M
22nd April 2007, 07:14 PM
Why are we importing these grains anyway?? We have farmers that cannot make a living and we import from China, makes no sense to me!

Zippy
22nd April 2007, 07:58 PM
I think if we knew what was really in all of our food, we'd all be anorexic!!

Karlin
22nd April 2007, 08:09 PM
For me, it raises the question of why salvage products -- deemed unsuitable for pets -- are instead sold into the human food production chain? :yikes

Joanne M
22nd April 2007, 09:31 PM
My thoughts exactly ladies. Over the past weeks I've given that lots of consideration, God only knows what we are eating. The difference of course is our pets can't tell us when they have a belly ache or something about the last batch of food not tasting right.

arasara
22nd April 2007, 09:48 PM
:xfngr: :yikes

It was only a matter of time. :(

It's scary that nobody knows what the effects of melamine on the human body are. :confused:

I hope they get this sorted out soon - it's really starting to get scary :xfngr:

Remali
24th April 2007, 12:03 AM
It seems as if nothing is safe for people or their pets.