Monday, April 30, 2007

Melamine Update: Fed To Poultry, Much Already "Processed" (Sold And Consumed)

Attention Melissa (aka Shakes) and Iain--and everyone else in Indiana--in case you were just about to order some take-out Kung Pao chicken:

WASHINGTON, April 30 (Reuters) - The U.S. government said on Monday 38 poultry farms in Indiana were given contaminated feed in early February containing melamine, with some of the chickens likely to have entered the food supply.

The U.S. Agriculture Department and the Food and Drug Administration said there was a "low-risk" to humans and no food recalls were expected at this time. They are uncertain how many chickens were involved, how many entered the food supply or where they went.

"We haven't completed counting yet," said USDA spokesman Keith Williams.

In a joint statement, USDA and FDA said "all of the broilers believed to have been fed contaminated product have since been processed. The breeders that were fed the contaminated product are under voluntary hold by the flock owners."

Birds that were given the contaminated feed will not be allowed to enter the U.S. food supply. Farmers will be compensated if they destroy the birds that consume the feed.

So, to recap, the FDA are uncertain how many tainted-feed-consuming chickens were involved, and they don't have a clue how many melamine Kievs and cyanuric acid stir-fries have already been served to unwitting Americans. They don't even know where the tainted poultry went (which unfortunately means that Melissa, Iain, and other Hoosiers aren't the only ones who should be concerned).

But they want America to be reassured by this: There is a "low risk" to humans and no recalls are expected at this time.

Do you know why I don't feel comforted in the slightest? Because when the FDA says something, there's a "low risk" of it actually being reliable.

At this time.

[H/T oddjob]

Also at Shakesville.

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