The FDA Pet & Human Food Fiasco!

The FDA’s time has come. And gone. It’s time for another Tea Party, beginning with dumping the FDA overboard. Here’s yet another example of their ineptitude, this time involving the illness and death of thousands of pets through melamine-tainted wheat and corn-gluten added to pet food. Until yesterday, the FDA was denying the contaminated pet food fiasco was wide-spread, an FDA administration official saying it affected “dozens of pet deaths in North America”.

I find “dozens” to only be meaningful when counting up to 144 or, 12 dozen. Of course, the correct term would then be 1 gross. My meager little mind interprets the FDA to mean that less than 144, or 12 dozen animals were injured or killed by contaminated food.

But looking at figures the FDA buried deep within their website and report, which came out yesterday, they’re not talking less than 12 dozen. They’re talking in terms of 1,417 dozen cats and dogs – the equivalent of 17,000 illnesses and death.

Clearly, the FDA was trying to hide this catastrophe by continuing to state, over the past few months, that illnesses and deaths were in the range of “dozens”, implying it wasn’t wide-spread or anywhere near the catastrophic numbers they’re now disclosing. And keep in mind, 17,000 is ONLY those illnesses and deaths which were “disclosed”. I’d venture to guess that figure could easily double, if not triple if everyone stepped forward.

The FDA HAD to finally admit they were backed into a corner because Christie Keith, a San Francisco-based syndicated pet food columnist and active leader within Weston A. Price Foundation and her associates have been hounding the FDA in a got-a-bone-ain’t-lettin’-go stance to come clean with the real numbers of those afflicted. Yesterday, Keith blogged “Breaking News”, FDA says thousands of pets dead, Chinese import alert expands, the FDA is finally revealing numbers in its import alert

Disclosed in the report is an extensive listing of all food products which are on hold while Chinese food production processes are analyzed, determining the cause of the melamine contamination. Looks like that will take some time because the list of processed additives includes:

  • Wheat Gluten
  • Rice Gluten
  • Rice Protein
  • Rice Protein Concentrate
  • Corn Gluten,
  • Corn Gluten Meal
  • Corn By-Products
  • Soy Protein
  • Soy Gluten
  • Mung Bean Protein
  • Soy Bean Meal/Powder/Gluten/Protein Isolate
  • Soy Protein Powder
  • Wheat Gluten
  • Wheat Flour Gluten
  • Wheat Gluten
  • Rice Protein
  • Rice Gluten
  • Rice Protein
  • Corn Gluten
  • Milled Rice Products
  • Amino acids and protein hydrosylates

And you humans, go check your own “treats” and processed food boxes, everything from granola bars, cereals, crackers, packaged mixes, to frozen foods. And don’t leave out those “healthy” foods that you picked up from supposed “healthy food stores” like Whole Foods, etc. Processed foods, whether from your pull-the-wool-over-the-consumer’s-eyes chain grocery store’s “organic aisle” or their regular aisle (it doesn’t matter!) are going to contain the above-listed ingredients. They’re not healthy for you to begin with, and even less so now if contaminated with melamine. And keep in mind, NONE of the ingredients listed are going to say “Country of Origin”. You’ll need to call each food processor to find which ingredients were American or Chinese processed.

Already this week there have been swine and poultry operations quarantined, because of feed contamination from “adulterated rice protein from China” . Let’s do some more math. How many months have dogs and cats been ill or died? That’s how many months meat-counters have ALSO contained melamine-tainted pork and poultry products. That’s HUMAN FOOD!

A Washington Post article, “Pet Deaths Spur Call for Better FDA Screening” makes some good points:

Amid growing revelations that suppliers in China frequently spike pet food and other food ingredients with contaminants to boost profits, momentum is building in Washington to bolster the Food and Drug Administration’s capacity to detect and screen out adulterated imports.

I do think this pet food thing has shown people, including people at the very highest levels of the administration, that something needs to be fixed,” said William Hubbard, associate director of the FDA from 1991 to 2005. ‘If this isn’t a wake-up call, then people are so asleep they are catatonic.’”

Catatonic? That’s putting it nicely. This has only just begun…….

In the meantime, pick up a copy of Sally Fallon and Mary Enig’s book, Nourishing Traditions and re-acquaint yourself with the concept of making your own food from “scratch”, buying it from local farms. Oh. And don’t forget to pick up some ingredients for your furry friend, because you really should be making their food, too, after you read Trends in Home-Prepared Diets for Pets

“Is Your Pet’s Food Safe Yet?” by Christie Keith, Special to SF Gate

FDA Broadens Probe of Tainted Pet Food, “no accident”, NPR

Same Factory, Different Brands, NPR

After Pet Food Scare, Could Homemade be a Help?, NPR

Trading Canned pet Food for Homemade, NPR

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