Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Is melamine changing your diet?
For the past two months, pet owners have been wondering whether they were feeding their cats and dogs food that might kill them. That's because the Food and Drug Administration found melamine and melamine-like products in various pet foods. The official death toll for animals is still at 17, and the Food and Drug Administration says it has received reports of thousands more.

Melamine is normally used to make plastics, building supplies and is also used in fertilizer - it was found in wheat gluten imported from China. Cyanuric acid, is a compound similar to melamine, normally used in swimming pool supplies, was found in rice protein, also imported from China. 153 different pet products have been recalled, and it was thought to be an animal problem. However, that changed in the past week, when we learned that the contaminated products had made their way into the human food supply.

Now we know that almost 3 million chickens and at least 350 hogs may have consumed animal feed mixed with this tainted pet food, and these chickens and pork products have made their way into the supermarkets and on to people's dinner tables.

But the FDA tells us they "believe the likelihood of illness after eating pork from hogs [and chickens] that were fed the contaminated product would be very low." You may be wondering, how they can be so sure? The FDA says it's all about "dilution."

I spoke with Dr. Michael Payne, a University of California-Davis toxicologist, who explained that the only studies that show how dangerous melamine can be to animals were done with pure melamine. Those studies found melamine to be 15-35 times LESS toxic than caffeine.

However, pets tend to eat the same pet food day after day, so if the food they eat is tainted, they're more likely build up a concentration and get sick from it. People are different. We eat a variety of foods. First of all, not every meal we eat includes chicken or pork. So here's how the FDA explains it:

Pet food with melamine is already considered diluted (not pure melamine). When the tainted pet food is mixed with the animal feed, it's diluted again. When the chickens or pigs eat the animal feed, and we consume the product, it's diluted another time. And when we digest the food, it's diluted again.

That's why they are comfortable telling us that the risk to humans is minimal.

Have you changed your eating habits based on this latest news? Are you concerned about the possibly having consumed tainted chicken or pork?
After hearing about the pet food (we actually had some in house that was on the recall list) we promptly changed our dogs diet to strictly organic. Fortunately our diets have been strictly organic for the last 3 years when we first became aware of the dangers of trans fats. We have now added to the NO LIST wheat gluten. Where will it end? Sorry, just not buying the "dilution" pitch. Changed, concerned? You bet, and everyone else should be too.
So what does this mean for those of us who have been feeding our pets chickens meant for human consumption in an attempt to avoid contaminated pet food? We just can't seem to escape it. This is absurd. And the fact that the poisoning of our food for profit gain is being downplayed is insane to me. Our food supply has been poisoned. Every news story I've seen about this only works to assuage our fears rather than focusing on the fact that our food supply was purposely and fraudulently contaminated with industrial chemicals for profit. Remember, this is by communist China, a country that continues to engage in human-rights violations, in addition to selling us dog fur as "faux" fur. That jacket with the "faux" fur accented hood you're wearing could be dog fur. The hog contamination story received the most minimal amount of coverage. I only found out about it by proactively conducting a google search about melamine contamination.

It's mind-boggling. I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Corporate America loves China. It only benefits them and stockholders to downplay any negative news coming from China.
Commenting on Dr. Gupta's webblog about the 'dilution' of Melamine contamination of feedstocks for poultry, etc:

The FDA comments about 'dilution' of feedstocks flies in the face of about a half-century of research showing that non-metabolizable contaminants tend to CONCENTRATE, not become diluted, as the contaminants move up the food chain. Because a given creature needs to eat about 8 to 10 pounds of food to create one pound of additional body mass, such artificial chemicals, whether they are plastics, insecticides, or heavy metals, tend to be concentrated by 8x to 10x as they move up the foodchain.

After being concentrated in the bodies of the poultry, they will concentrate further in human bodies. Has anyone studied the excretion of Melamine in human breast milk, for example?
i am so grateful i began making my own dog/cat food almost a decade ago, mainly raw. we buy directly from local farmers, all-natural organic. i just spoke to one of my farmers yesterday & she said her phone is ringing off the hook. i am so very grateful!

and very upset by what has occurred. i thought a plan was in place following 9/11 to protect our food supply. this is a national disgrace - so what else is new???
This is beyond ridiculous give the American farmer's back their farms. Let us get back to the basic way of living in America, buy fresh, buy local products. Why does everything now even our food come from CHINA??
Since the FDA regulates all food products, ingredients and inspects each and every facility in the food chain here in the United States, I would be the first to demand they put into effect the same exact requirements, inspections and certification process for things to be imported. Why should an importer get carte blanche exemption from FDA regulations and inspections? Thank the liberal free trade policies of letting anyone from anywhere sell anything without any oversight for this mess. And why of all places in the world would the USA need to import basic food ingredients from China?
I am concerned about my 9 month old son, who drinks soy protein formula every day and eats rice cereal every other day.

"wheat gluten" sounds like one of the many assorted extra ingredients that appear in any number of foods.

I would like to know that the US and Chinese governments are tracking down and prosecuting whoever all spiked their "gluten" meal. If there are not laws in place against this, then I would like to see some added to help discourage the practice with a threat of a little jail time.

I do not want unscruppulous entrepenuers to get away with contaminating our pets', our farm animals, or our own food supply.
What would the symptoms be if a human did eat melamine tainted food? How is the FDA/CDC notifying medical personal to look for symptoms? Is there a dedicated tainted food reporting network to flag potential problems and notify the public to avoid further risk? Based on the public news release(s), it seems the FDA is down-playing the potetial problem while avoiding giving the public & doctors the information needed to assist in looking for potential problems.
Miriam,

I am glad to see your BLOG on this subject.

Although, I agree with the technical facts, the bigger concern is the possiblity that China has been shipping tainted wheat gluten for human consumption in the U.S..

At this time, we do not know if there is any contamination to our foods, of which the list is vast, that contain wheat gluten purchased from China.
It is obvious that China's monitoring of exports is either corrupt or incomptetent.
It is my opinion that the FDA take all wheat gluten based products, from China, off the shelves.

For one, this will impact businesses enough to ensure this does not happen again, and secondly, it will make the american consumer more vigilant in questioning what is in the food they eat.

I hate to sound like Lou Dobbs, but American-made costs more, for a reason. It is better quality, more highly monitored and reputation of a nationally-based company is more sensitive to negative feedback than an internationally-based company will ever be. We need to be willing, as consumers, to pay more for our products and services, in order to keep those products and services based in the U.S..
It will protect our nation's economy and apparently our health as well.

Regards,

T. Smith
You bet we're concerned. This has gone on for over six weeks and it seems as if every few days brings another expansion in the scope of the problem. How many times has the information that the FDA has given out had to be revised since this started? I think they are in too big a hurry to reassure the public and I no longer trust them to know whats safe until after an incident has completely run its course.
This is damage control and complete nonsense. When the pet food recall was announced originally, "officials" said they couldn't even figure out why animals are dying. They have consistently tried to downplay the risks, first to pets and next to humans, as illegal chemicals were found in one place after another. Now over 4000 pets are dead. Meanwhile, the rat population in China surges out of control because they killed all the dogs and cats there last summer, and farmers are spreading rat poison all over their own fields to minimize crop damage. Where will this madness end? We need to freeze all Chinese and Indian shipments in port NOW, and rigorously inspect each and every cargo for toxins.
Does this tainted food update apply to 'organic' chicken and hog feed as well? What are 'organic' chickens, hogs, and cows fed?
Does this apply to 'organic' chickens, hogs, and cows? What are 'organic' animals fed? Is any meat safer?
Actually, the FDA death toll is more than 4,000.

From an import alert on the FDA Web site:

"This has been one of the largest pet food recalls in history, a recall that continues to expand. Thus far, 18 firms have recalled product, 17 Class I and 1 class II, covering over 5,300 product lines. As of April 26, 2007, FDA had received over 17,000 consumer complaints relating to this outbreak, and those complaints included reports of approximately 1950 deaths of cats and 2200 deaths of dogs."

Here's the link:

http://www.fda.gov/ora/fiars/ora_import_ia9929.html
I'm not going to change the way I eat. But - why isn't anyone asking why we buy Wheat Glutin from China in the first place ?? Whether it be for pet food or animal feed - we grow our own wheat here so why isn't the USA making our own wheat glutin ??
What are the possible symptoms to humans of ingesting too much melamine? This information is conspicuously absent when all the authorities claim that it is probably harmless...
Score one for the vegetarians!

I do wonder what (if any) risk there is to the egg stock -- for those of us that are "Lacto-Ovo" friendly
Could you please elaborate on the symptoms possible with human consumption?
Our milk, like our beef, is "enhanced" with growth hormone, resulting in fat children and girls getting their periods at the age of 7; now our chicken and pork are poisoned with something that MAY or may not result in our kidneys being damaged.
80% of our Vitamin C is made in China.
Why are we importing food from China? Why can't my grocery store carry produce grown by local farmers?
Where is the politician who stands up and says enough is enough?
Why would the risk to humans be minimal?

Have you never heard of the principle of biological magnification? Basically, when a toxin enters the food chain, it becomes more concentrated in organisms that are larger and "higher up" on the food chain, so to speak.

Sounds like the FDA scientists are being told to spin this so it doesn't sound as bad as it really is.

Makes me want to quit my job as a biology teacher and start my own farm so I know what my husband and I are really eating.
The real question is why are we buying ANYTHING food related from China? While are farms become commercial real estate, we are out sourcing vital life necessities to communists? When America loses our farms, we lose more than the farmers. Our pets saw the first wave of this horrible msitake.
I don't trust anything the FDA says. I grow my own and buy local.
I am glad I stopped eating meat earlier this year. Its hard to know what is in the food you eat so be careful.
If the contaminant can build to toxic levels then it can build to near toxic levels and thus may not be detected.

What about the animals in that category making it to the table?

Keep in mind the average American diet is not well known for its variety. Is this combination a dangerous recipe?

In addition, toxic levels are usually gauged by catastrophic and immediate events. What of sub-toxic levels over long periods?

An old adage comes to mind at this point: “If in doubt, don’t!”

Of course, the above thought process does not include monetary considerations, as well it should not for reasons I think obvious.
My question is,why are chickens being fed pet food? Commercially grown chickens are supposed to be fed a feed specifically for market stock. What is going on here? Where is the oversight? I understand the threat of injury from this feeding issue,because the ingestion is not direct, is not in the same ballpark as the dogs and cats that have suffered and died, however, the fact remains there are serious problems coming to light and now I wonder if it is only the tip of the iceberg.
Here is an email I sent to Speaker Pelosi regarding this issue:

Speaker Pelosi:

Respectfully submitted this situation with tainted products from China continues to evolve into a potentially deadly situation for Americans. As a mother I am extremely concerned to feed my child chicken. I am mortified the FDA or USDA is not planning a recall of chickens. There should be a mandatory recall ASAP! As well there should be additional investigation to see where else these products may have been distributed so we may avoid additional damage.

Also there should be an immediate ban on imports of food products from China. We have no quality control in place there & this situation will evolve rapidly as a dangerous situation to humans.

Please I urge you to help.
From research done at the University of Guelph in Canada, it does not appear that melamine by itself is what caused the deaths from kidney failure in thousands of pets in the US. They believe it was the combination of melamine and cyanuric acid in the pet food. They found when melamine and cyanuric acid were placed in cat urine that crystals quickly formed (capable of obstructing the kidneys). These crystals, under infrared spectroscopy, matched those found in dead pets. And many pets became severely ill and/or died after eating the contaminated food a very short time--not enough to lead credence to a "build-up" of melamine theory. These foods had the combination of melamine AND cyanuric acid.

So with human foods, whether it was diluted or not would not be the most important question to ask. What I would want to know is, does the food ALSO have cyanuric acid? Or are there other food sources from China in the person's diet that is contaminated with cyanuric acid so that eating meat containing melamine would then expose the person to the risk of the deadly combination.
As a pregnant woman, I am still concerned. What about people like me or someone with other heath situations?
I must say that I'm questioning every single thing I eat now. I have to eat, but that spinach, chicken, peanut butter and on and on. I really think all our food is suspect...so bring on the melamine, maybe it isn't as bad as the unknown junk we haven't even found out about yet. Today melamine, tomorrow...Heaven help us all. Take Care
If you eat meat, it's difficult to move away from the supermarket and mass produced chicken, beef and pork. To understand the factory farm environment and why it may be best to buy local produce, chicken, etc. I highly recommend reading the book "The Omnivore's Dilemma" by Michael Pollan. Very interesting and entertaining reading.
In general, I am very concerned about the amount of food and "ingredients" we are importing into the USA from countries which are among the most polluted in the world (such as China). US inspection of foodstuff is spotty at best, and when done here are Always problems found.
Do I think it's OK that we are only ingesting a "little bit" of poison - absolutely not. How much of these poisons end up in ur ecosystems? Do these poisons build up in our own systems? Why are we ok with the Chinese claiming it's even healthy for us to add these toxins to our food? The fact is that it's only healthy to their economy.
Even worse, WHY are we importing food when we certainly have the resources to grow and raise our own. Our farmers are losing their livlihoods and their land while we import foodstuff that has been publicly labeled "filthy".
I have huge fears for the future of our country if we continue to become more and more dependant on other countries and accept less safe and lower quality goods.
I eat chicken practically every day for lunch and dinner with maybe a one or two day change for dinner to pork or beef. What does this do to my odds of becoming sick? What are syptoms or things we can expect to experience if we become infected?
since the dog food scare I started making my own dog food called spot's stew, from the book THE WHOLE PET DIET by Andi Brown this stew includes Chicken and vegetables and oats. When I was feeding him the free range chicken he was fine. I brought chicken that was on sale and now he has diarrhea and votmit once. How
can I find out if the chicken I brought has melamine in it? I would think othes are in this same situtation. HELP Please..ps A lot of PEOPLE do eat chicken every day.
All the more reason for people to start considering organic meats and I'll take it a step furter and ask that people try free range and cage free products. Signed, Concerned citizen in NC.
I think we do need to change our habits and eat more natural foods. It is inevitable that our food be tainted either directly or indirectly if we import products raw or manufactured. We know that most of these products are not inspected. The same could happen on the homefront so we need to be ever vigilant. Eating "natural" not processed foods helps to fight health problems as well like obesity and allergies. The veterinary community has entertained much discussion ,understandably, on this topic and some of us believe that we have only experienced the "tip of the iceberg" and will not know the outcome for years to come.
I am rather surprised at this stage that there are very few comments on this particular blog. One of the points that has been made in the press but has yet to make much of splash in the National Broadcast Media is the reason for including melamine into animal feed.

Melamine is a cyclic aromatic compound derived from coal. It is extremely rich in nitrogen, hence the motive for introduction into animal feed. My understanding is that animal feed is sold based upon its nutritional value and part of that value is related to the nitrogen content. In food, the only source of nitrogen is aminoacids (the building blocks of all protein). Very crude assays do not distinguish between sources of nitrogen. Urea (molecule in urine) for example has been added to feed in the past to fool the buyer into believing that the nitrogen content of the feed came from protein. Current assays apparently routinely detect urea. Melamine is a slightly more sophisticated method of trying to achieve the same goal. Apparently current assays donot detect melanime.

The structure of this compound can be found at www.chem.sis.nlm.nih.gov. Clearly it would have no nutritional value since it is not a carbohydrate, fat, aminoacid, or an alcohol/aldehyde.

The sole role of melamine is to increase the percentage of nitrogen in the feed. The higher the nitrogen content the higher the price of the feed. For those individuals who add melamine to animal feed, it does not matter that this nitrogen source is completely without nutritutional merit or that it is potentially toxic. Even if it is nontoxic, that is not really the point. The point of melamine is that it is a cheap way of cheating the system. It is a nitrogen source with no biological value.

Rather it is a trick to fool the buyer into believing that the feed has nutritional value when in fact it does not. Industrialization/Globalization of the food supply and our current culture of "quality" at the lowest possible cost so as to maximize "shareholder value" has lead to this issue.

Though no known harm to people has been identified this is perhaps a glimse into a possible future where regulation is insufficient to protect the consumer from fraudulent behavior. Fortunately, the US system does have checks and balances which mitigate this sort of abuse. The Food and Drug Administration should not be criticized in this regard. They are insufficiently funded to test all sources of foodstuffs and ensure that manufactures are not cheating. Indeed the petfood manufacturer in Canada probably had no idea that their wheat gluten (purchased from a large Asian country) had been "enriched" with melamine.

One wonders what Upton Sinclair would think in this circumstance; apart from "been there done that..."
1 - Have there been any studies on the long-term effects of "diluted" melamine? How about the effects on the fetus of a pregnant woman who is consuming a lot of chicken or pork? On people with compromised immune systems?

2 - The FDA keeps saying the *melamine* is diluted in these animal products, so it shouldn't cause illness. Well, in animals, the illnesses were caused by a combination of melamine and cyanuric acid; the combination caused crystals in the urinary track that ended up causing the kidney problems. So, let's say diluted melamine is OK. Is this combination of cyanuric acid and melamine OK? Because that's what we're talking about, and, in fact, the researchers found a much higher concentration of the cyanuric acid in the grains than they did melamine.

To answer your questions, yes, I've changed my eating habits based on recent news, but it's not because of the chicken and pork. I'm a vegetarian, so I'm concerned about the wheat glutens and soy proteins that are in many of the convenience foods I had been purchasing. I'm also pregnant, so until these products are deemed safe, I will not be purchasing them. Since the pet food recall began, I've been concerned about my pets' diets, but also of my family's diets. We are moving toward organic, locally grown products, and away from convenience foods. I guess it was the kick I needed to be more careful about our diets. The FDA clearly cannot protect us.
"the only studies that show how dangerous melamine can be to animals were done with pure melamine", well that's fine but we have no idea where the melamine was derived from in China. The Chinese aren't adding pure melamine, they're getting it from various types of industrial scrap/waste.
China has been counterfeiting all types of American goods,now they are adding toxins to our food sources to fake the protein content. I am call for a boycott on all China goods ! Also the import tariffs should be raised on all China imports to compensate for tighter inspections on ALL their imports.
The reasoning in this blog is flawed; it's drivel.

First, the argument states that animals eat the same food every day and thus get a build-up of contaminants; unlike humans who eat with more variety and some don't even eat meat (freaks!)

Then, it says, that humans won't get sick because of 'dilution', which goes against the previously stated build-up of poisons.

Don't they really just mean: The FDA is allowing some company to earn profit at the public's expense because the effective doses of poison that are being given to people are low enough that any negative effects won't be easily attributed to the contamination?
So, what are the symptoms of human exposure?
I have not changed my eating habits based on this news. However, the pet food recall forced us to change our dogs' diets temporarily until there is more information. So we've been giving them a well-rounded (for dogs) diet using foods we cook for ourselves -- which includes chicken. That makes me a lot more concerned.
Is anyone looking into the wheat gluten contamination in vegetarian food? There are many, many veggie meats that are made with wheat gluten! I wish someone would address this issue.
The problems I have with the FDAs assertions that pork and chicken are safe are: 1. The tainted grain products were marked "food" grade, not "feed" grade. We don't know and may never know if the food we eat (bread, baked goods, breakfast bars) is being made with contaminated grain products because the FDA wasn't and isn't testing; and 2. While we may consume more variety than our pets, if the contaminants are in our meat and cereal products, we're still eating alot of bad stuff; and 3. The FDA won't release the names of the firms that have purchased the melamine laced product.

So why *should* we trust them?

Heck yes, I'm changing the way I feed my kids. Not as dramatically as I would like because costs are an issue, but I'm changing what I can.
Yes. I have changed my diet after these findings. I think it should be illegal for companies to import a food with an agent that band by the FDA for use by farmers in the USA. The FDA has band the use of Melamine in the USA; however, it can be imported and used. That is like telling US automakers that they have to comply with safety standards only if the automobiles are manufactured in the USA. My wife has stopped buying food produced outside of the USA. She reminded me that many counties don't our FDA safety standard in place. I am to the point that when I purchased a tooth brush last night, I looked for the labels Made In the USA.
I believe there is no cause for concern. First, the dilution explanation is correct. It's reasonable to believe that any chicken we eat did not die from, or even exhibit any symptoms from eating tainted food. If either were the case the producers wouldn't have used them for human consumption. Eating part of that chicken, along with all of the other food we eat would significantly dilute was is in the chicken even further. Second, there are low levels of dozens or hundreds of harmful substances in our food, especially animal products, where such chemicals tend to concentrate. There is no logic in making a big deal over one just because it made it into the news. Third, in the long run, obesity and other health problems resulting from poor diet are a far bigger concern in this country than consequence of eating chickens that ate tainted food. Overeating, excessive alcohol consumption, and smoking -- all relatively common in this country -- dwarf this issue by comparison in terms of the damage they can cause. If you're eating enough chicken for this to be a concern to you, you have bigger dietary issues you need to address than this.
We eat organic chicken at our house, and we eat locally raised chicken when I can get it. I know the lady I buy my eggs from, and I've seen her chickens (they look healthy, well-cared for, and they roam their chicken roost area). So I am not too worried, but yea, I'm thinking about becoming vegetarian.
As a pregnant woman, I'm very concerned. Fetuses can be harmed by thungs that wouldn't harm an adult. Does anyone have any proof melamine isn't toxic to fetuses?
Yes, in our family, we have modified our diets in response to the latest news about chicken, pork, and other products in our food supply, which may have been contaminated by tainted feed from China. There is, however, an even greater concern: what of all the other products which are imported from China and other countries? Pesticides which are no longer permitted in our country, are exported and used legally in some other countries. Do those products make it to our markets? What of lead in glaze and plastics? Recently, there have been dozens of recalls of children's toy products, given "excessive lead" contamination -- which begs the question: how much lead is safe for children? And I had thought the answer was zero. Ultimately, it is now impossible to know what materials are in our food supply, or in the toys we purchase for our children. What's the solution?
The cumulative effect of these chemicals is unknown, so I'm not sure how the FDA comes to the conclusion that our health risk is low. Dogs and cats died from eating these additives and I fear they are the "canaries in the coal mine" warning us of serious health risks. Is the FDA investigating the introduction of these additives as a crime?... at the very least it is consumer fraud.
Dr. gupta apparently is not up on his reading. The FDA itself admits to nearly 2000 cat deaths and 2200 animal deaths, and 17000 complaints - http://www.fda.gov/ora/fiars/ora_import_ia9929.html

stating that only 17 cats had died is grossly understating the magnitude of the problem.
thats like saying a little bit of feeces in my drinking water is ok. which my county report said was .02 well within FDA guidlines.I cant believe our public officials are not threatining trade sanctions or some sort of formal protest against china. we are acting like this is normal. All these idiots in washington should be voted out of office. we will go to war because we think there is a danger ,But another country contaminates our food that my children have been eating and we do nothing.
What I do not understand is HOW contaminated food for pets was given to other animals???? IT WAS CONTAMINATED!!!!!
Now to find out it was given to animals in the human food chain???!!!!
Once again it appears that corporate greed outweighs any concern for safety!!!
I think going VEGAN looks better everyday!!!!
Philip Leibowitz comments:

The explanation by the FDA that melamine will be 'diluted' as it moves through the food chain flies in the face of a half-century of known science regarding man-made chemicals in the food chain. In fact, such contaminants, whether they are plastics, insecticides, or heavy metals tend to CONCENTRATE as they move up the food chain. As an organism has to eat about 10 pounds of food for each pound of body mass gained, the contaminant will tend to concentrate with each step in the food chain. The creature at the top of the food chain will suffer the most, as probably close to 100 pounds of food must be consumed by the poultry to grow 10 pounds of bird, which then when eated by the humans results in 1 pound of human body mass. Has anyone tested human breast milk for such contaminants, for example? Traces of chemicals such as insecticides, heavy metals, and Dieldran have been found to concentrate in humans, and, presumably, so will melamine. Has the FDA suddenly forgotton a solid half-century of well-established scientific fact?
I think that we have to be cautious with relationships that may have the effect of corrupting decision making processes in key individuals. In my estimation there has been an errosion of ethical standards in people generally. Physicians are not immune to this. Lack of oversight and regulation is a prescription for less than optimal performance in any system. To me it is sad that we are in such a state of fuzzy consciousness that we even consider that there would not be a significant negative potential in the kind of relationships that the drug industry seeks with physicians.
I have changed my habits, yes and I am strongly considering becoming a vegetarian. Not that it will solve anything, since USA, the strongest nation in the world, is importing FOOD, mind you, from CHINA, out of all countries. The whole ordeal started because the Chinese wanted to make more money with less quality material. If that doesnt sound familiar..except Americans and their pets should not be the guinea pigs.
My husband and I had chicken sandwiches at a very well established fast food chain this past weekend. We both woke up the next day with nausea, diarrhea, vommiting, and major headaches. These symptoms lasted well beyond 24 hours which was unlike anything we have ever had before. We can't help but wonder if it was contaminated chicken.
Yes, we won't be eating chicken or pork for at least several weeks. I don't care about the dilution of the 'poison', its still poison. How do you know that you aren't getting melamine from other sources, such as storage containers, and this would just add to your exposure. We have family that raises beef cattle, so, we will be eating that beef, exclusively, for a while.
I know longer beleave anything the fda says and i will only eat free range chicken i am now cooking my own dog food out of fear for my beloved pets
I still don't care what the FDA says, They dropped the ball big time on our pets! I also believe that human foods should not have chemicals that are not meant to be in our foods in them!

Stan A.
I do not eat chicken, but my dog does. Chicken was the first ingredient in the canned food she ate until it was recalled. I now feed her a dietician-approved homemade diet based on human grade chicken! I am not the only person whose pets eat chicken. Why is the chicken contamination issue addressed only in reference to humans? Pets may eat chicken every day! Please investigate and report.
I'm cooking my own food for my pets now. I don't trust pet food. The ingredients are disgusting. Articial colors, artificial flavors, artificial ingredients. Ingredients I can't even pronounce. Funny how the cancer rates have been on the rise for cats and dogs. But then again, many of these disgusting ingredients are found in many of the frozen foods, canned foods, packaged foods, fast-foods, etc. consumed by people.
What I am having a problem with is the FDA and everything you read, state that no human has gotten sick. Well now we find that chickens have been ingested by HUMANS, tainted pork products have been ingested by HUMANS...How does the FDA or for that matter anyone else know for sure no HUMAN has gotten sick. Is there something we should look for that would give an indication that the reason we are getting sick is from ingesting this stuff? Do the emergency rooms know what to look for? Do the doctors? What? This is what I don't get. Not one article states what could happen to a HUMAN. If we don't know we can't look for it or recognize it when it happens. Come clean, FDA and the medical industry as a whole. What do we HUMANS need to know that you are still not telling us.
Once again we have an FDA official towing the food industry line in describing the melamine contamination and its potental for human consumption as "minimal". Inspection of Chinese manufacturing plant!? Why not make them submit to U. S. testing of products before they enter the country? Better yet, in the name of protection of our citizens, let's close off foreign import of foods and additives. Think how many farmers and processors/jobs we could recover and support. Is our health and safety worth more greed and profits - "global" is fast becoming the worst six-letter word in the English language.
In light of new info, I have to say that yes, I am worried. As a medical student, I am well aware that there are certain populations that will be more susceptible to the effects of a toxin than others, in this case the very young, very old, and those (like myself) with compromised kidneys. Moreover, Dr. Gupta didn't have allt he facts when he wrote this. A second toxin, cyanuric acid, has been found. while each alone is relatively benign, when put together they result in crystal formation in the kidneys. Many substances that are safe alone can be very toxic when combined with other substances, and for this reason, yes, I am concerned, and you should be too.
Yes, I am concerned. As a med student I know that there are always populations that are more susceptible to a toxin than others, usually the very young, the very old, and in this case, those like me who have compromised kidneys. Moreover, Dr. Gupta didn't have the latest information when he wrote this article. A second contaminant, cyanuric acid, has been discovered. while each alone is relatively benign, the combination leads to crystal formation in the kidneys, and THAT is the reason why it is causing harm in our pets. Many substances alone are harmless, but when combined with other substances , they can become very toxic. The Melamine/cyanuric acid combination is a good example. Would I say I am safe? That anyone is safe? Not at this time.
What gets me is how we pick and choose what's dangerous and what's not how convient. I look at Dr. Koops site and there is an explanation of why it's not dangerous for humans to ingest these animals who have eaten this tainted feed. But yet Dr. Koops states there is no safe level of second hand smoke, i'm scratching my head here, a toxin is a toxin not to be ingested or breathed, why are some poison's ok and some are not. Not to mention I now cook for my dog who suffers from actue gastro problem and has to be on a special diet, my dog weighs 6lbs. Is this chicken ok for him to eat. I'm disguested with the lies from my government it's making me sick, just don't know who to believe anymore.
Three weeks ago I broke out in hives after eating chicken. I didn't know then that it was chicken that did it to me. About a week later i broke out agian and back to the hospital i went, but this time i knew it was the chicken breast that I get from my butcher, they are the ONLY two things i had in common. I had ate other chicken inbetween but it wasn't from the same place. While in the emergency room, the doctor told me i was nuts and chicken couldn't do this. And actaully had the gall to tell me i had skin lice. Guess the 8 years in medical school didn't teach him what a hive looks like! Anyways, i am relieved to know that i wasn't crazy and im sure i ate some of this chicken. I also just found out that i am pregnant, and i think that had something to do with the reaction i had. Feeling fine these days, but taking a break from chicken!
Yes, the pet food scare has changed my personal diet. I am trying to eat more fresh produce and less packaged foods.

I am also very concerned about the plastic baby bibs from China containing large amounts of lead. I wonder if this softer plastic has any connection with an increase of autism in our children. I also worry about plastic in other children products coming from China.
I think this is all insane, how can the FDA justify those comments
Maybe the FDA is "comfortable" with having PLASTIC in chicken, but I'm not. If it's so safe, why won't the FDA release the names of the poultry producers who got the poisoned pet food? That would make me a lot more "comfortable" about deciding if I wanted to eat their product.
Thank you for the opportunity to speak my mind. I had a pet die in January 2006 of "kidney failure". All the veteranian could suggest was "anti-freeze". By searching FDA's archives I discovered a pet food recall in late December 2005 which covered the entire southeast (my area). My dog had not eaten any of the food on their list, but had eaten one of the foods on Menu Foods' recall list in January 2007. I cannot help but believe this food contamination problem has been going on much longer than we've been told. Lately I have been preparing home cooked food for my dog. MY QUESTIIONS: (1). What can I feed my pet if MY FOOD ISN'T SAFE? and (2). When will the FDA give us absolute assurance that the foods offered for consumption by animals (including HUMANS) is safe?
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