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Broiler chickens fed pet food scraps contaminated with melamine

By Gary Bogue
Wednesday, May 2nd, 2007 at 9:44 am in Pet food.

Contaminated chickens then sold for human consumption
A copyrighted story by Rick Weiss of the Washington Post today says as least 2.5 million broiler chickens from an Indiana producer were fed pet food scraps contaminated with the chemical melamine and subsequently sold for human consumption.

Here are some quotes from Weiss’ story. The boldfaced words are mine, to emphasize the words:

“Officials emphasized that they do not believe the tainted chicks — or the smaller number of contaminated pigs that were previously reported to have entered the human food supply — pose any risk for the people who ate them.”

“None of the farm animals is known to have become sick from the food, and very little of the contaminant is suspected of having accumulated in their tissues. Thus, no recall of any products that may still be on store shelves or in people’s freezers is planned, officials said.”

So, the FDA officials do not believe that the 2.5+ million contaminated chickens pose any risk to the people who ate them.

They say none of the animals is known to have become sick.

And they say very little of the melamine is suspected of having accumulated in farm animal tissues.

Do not believe … is known … is suspected … are not what you call scientific statements. They’re just plain old guesses. And based on those plain old guesses, none of the contaminated chickens that might still be out there in stores or in your freezer, have been recalled.

You’d think that anything contaminated with melamine at this point would be recalled, just to be on the safe side, especially human foods. The FDA still doesn’t know why the mildly-toxic melamine is killing cats. Maybe it’s reacting with something else in the food. It’s called synergism, “the simultaneous action of separate ‘agencies’ (chemicals, drugs, etc.) which, together, have greater total effect than the sum of the individual effects.”

If this kind of thing can happen with pet food, couldn’t it also happen with human food?

Those FDA guys don’t get it, do they?

Rick Weiss’ story ends by saying: “Officials said the FDA has received 17,000 reports of pets that owners believe were sickened or killed by contaminated chow. About 8,000 reports, roughly half of them involving animals that died, have been formally entered into the FDA’s tracking system so far for further analysis.”

And so it goes.

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