Saturday, April 21, 2007

Melamine Found In California Pork; FDA Launches Criminal Investigation

It was only a matter of time before this happened: melamine has been detected in the feed and body fluids of pigs meant for human consumption, and California authorities have issued both a quarantine and an advisory to not consume pork from at least one farm; others may follow, since the tainted feed was also shipped to New York.

A hazardous chemical believed to have killed scores of pets nationwide has been found in California and New York hog farms, raising concerns for the first time that it could have been consumed by humans.


California authorities have quarantined American Hog Farm, in Ceres south of Sacramento, after melamine was detected in a least seven urine samples and three samples of the animal's food, news report said.

California officials and are trying to trace what happened to slaughtered animals. About 100 pigs were killed on-site and sold privately, Don Agresti, co-owner of the farm, told The Oregonian.

American Hog Farm is a speciality operation in which people actually pick pigs for consumption and have them killed at a special slaughterhouse. The company's license requires that the meat must be stamped "not for resale."

California officials are conducting tests, trying to determine whether there was any melamine in the meat of the animals. They've warned people not to eat any pork purchased from the farm.

Meanwhile, the FDA has opened a criminal investigation into the melamine-tainting disaster (emphasis mine):

The Food and Drug Administration has opened a criminal investigation in the widening pet food contamination scandal, officials said yesterday, as it was confirmed that tainted pork might have made its way onto human dinner plates in California.


Late Thursday, Royal Canin USA became the most recent company to recall pet foods. Some of its brands were contaminated with rice protein concentrate. Its South African subsidiary said contaminated corn gluten had been linked to the deaths of 30 pets there.

Five companies received the contaminated Chinese rice protein concentrate. Three firms have identified themselves by announcing recalls; the other two are not publicly known because the FDA will not name them until the companies say they used contaminants in their products.

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