Tuesday, April 24, 2007

FDA To Test Food Glutens, Proteins For Melamine

Hot off the wires (literally, since I spilled my tea in my lap when I read this two minutes ago):

WASHINGTON, April 24 (Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Tuesday it would look for melamine contamination in imported wheat gluten, corn gluten, corn meal, soy protein, rice bran and rice protein, used in manufactured food for humans and livestock.

The FDA said thousands of U.S. hogs might be affected by its investigation of livestock feed contaminated with the chemical melamine, which used in plastics and fertilizer.

Melamine has been found in wheat gluten and rice protein imported from China that was used in some U.S. pet foods and feed.

"We're going to target firms that we know are receiving imported products," said David Acheson, chief medical officer of the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. "The goal is obviously to sample as much as we can."


The agency said on a call with reporters late on Tuesday that it had no intention of banning imports of wheat gluten, rice protein or similar proteins from China.

"We believe the safety net is in place to make sure that no additional products are going to get into the commerce of the United States," said David Elder, director of FDA's enforcement office.

The FDA said contaminated feed was sent to hog farms in North and South Carolina, California, New York, Utah and possibly Ohio.


"I don't have the numbers on that right now, but it potentially affects thousands of hogs," said Stephen Sundlof, director of the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine. "Some of the hog operations were fairly sizable."

We believe the safety net is in place.

Forgive me, Mr. Elder, sir, but I believe otherwise. And I think all the evidence falls fairly squarely in the court of Otherwise, too.

Also at Shakesville.

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